(3:50 p.m. EDT) -- Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises have updated their vaccination protocols to allow unvaccinated passengers to sail on their ships leaving from select homeports as cruise lines around the world begin easing mandates in step with the broader travel industry.
The new changes -- which take effect on both lines as of September 5, 2022 -- apply to Royal Caribbean cruises departing from the ports of Los Angeles, Galveston, New Orleans and all European homeports.
For Celebrity Cruises, the change applies to all sailings departing from Los Angeles, the UK and Europe, with the exception of Iceland.
For cruises departing from any other homeports, and for all sailings departing before September 5, 2022, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity will continue to require passengers 12 and older to be fully vaccinated and tested against COVID-19.
Royal Caribbean is also working with local governments in the Eastern Caribbean to align on vaccination requirements for more itineraries and expects to have more information in the coming days.
For the above ports, unvaccinated passengers will still be required to meet testing mandates before embarking. Unvaccinated passengers will still need to observe the requirements of the ports of call they visit on their itineraries. For instance, Grand Cayman only allows visitors to disembark if they have a valid vaccination card. Spain and Greece both require unvaccinated visitors to take a COVID-19 test onboard before being allowed to disembark in ports of either country.
This latest update in vaccination protocols for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity follows Norwegian Cruise Line Holding's announcement on August 8th, that its cruise brands -- including Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas -- will allow unvaccinated travelers to cruise again, provided their itinerary does not include places that still require proof of vaccination, like Canada.