(12:23 p.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which includes popular cruise brands Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas, has modified its testing and vaccination requirements, allowing unvaccinated travelers to cruise again and removing the pre-cruise testing requirement for fully vaccinated passengers.
Effective as of September 3, 2022, all three brands will allow fully vaccinated passengers over the age of 12 to embark without the need for a pre-cruise test for COVID-19. Unvaccinated passengers 12 and over will also be able to board, will need to supply proof of a medically supervised negative PCR or Antigen test taken no more than 72 hours prior to embarkation.
As of September 3, passengers aged 11 and younger will be able to embark without vaccination or testing requirements.
The move is a major shift for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which was a staunch advocate for fully vaccinated guests when cruising resumed in 2021.
"We have been waiting a long time for this moment to arrive. The world has been re-opening quickly and once more, we are pleased to welcome all travelers, of all ages, to safely explore the world with comfort and ease aboard the small, luxurious ships of Oceania Cruises," stated Howard Sherman, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises, in a statement sent to media.
While Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is altering its requirements for U.S.-based sailings as of September 3, some countries will still require testing, vaccination, or both.
Passengers booked on itineraries starting in or calling on Canadian Ports will not be able to cruise if they are over the age of 12 and unvaccinated. This includes Alaskan cruises departing from Seattle and calling on Victoria, British Columbia -- even for those who do not plan to leave the ship in the capital city.
Canadian ports still require the use of the ArriveCAN app, and still require a negative pre-cruise COVID-19 test.
Other countries requiring specific vaccination and testing requirements include Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Greece, Honduras, Italy, Puerto Rico, and Spain. (Norwegian Cruise Line has a detailed list of requirements for each country here.)
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is speaking to investors tomorrow during its second-quarter earnings call. Cruise Critic will update this article with more information as it becomes available.