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Cruise Lines That Don’t Require Vaccine and Pre-Cruise Testing

With cruise vacations making a comeback and heading towards some normality, many will wonder which cruise lines have dropped or eased the vaccine and cruise testing requirements.

With the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently ending its COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships, cruise lines are now starting to ease the testing requirements gradually.

Cruise Lines Begin Dropping Requirements

In this article, we’ll take a look at the cruise lines that have already reduced the testing requirements. We’ll keep updating this page so you don’t miss any of the latest updates when it comes to easing protocols for cruises.


Azamara Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

On July 19, 2022, the luxury cruise line Azamara announced the removal of its embarkation testing requirement starting from July 25, 2022. It means guests no longer need to worry about showing proof of a negative test result to go on a cruise.

However, guests do still have to undergo a pre-cruise test when departing from ports that still have that requirement in place. The full list of ports that still require a pre-cruise test can be viewed here.

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line Funnel
Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

Since the CDC Voluntary Program for U.S. Based Cruise Ships ended in July, Carnival Cruise Line joined the list of cruise lines that have removed some testing requirements.

On shorter cruises that are five days or less from August 4, 2022, fully vaccinated guests no longer have to provide a pre-cruise test result. However, due to requirements at specific destinations, cruises that sail to Bermuda and Grand Cayman still require guests to take a pre-cruise test, no matter the cruise length. For these sailings, guests can take a test three days before departure, including embarkation day.

For cruises six days or more, the testing requirements remain in place for guests aged two and above. This includes a PCR or antigen test taken three days before departure. On back-to-back voyages that are 16 days or longer, guests will have to undergo a test between cruises.

August 12, 2022 Update

Starting from departures on September 6, 2022, Carnival Cruise Line removes the pre-cruise testing requirement for vaccinated guests, with limitations for specific destinations such as cruises to Canada, Bermuda, Greece and Australia (per local guidelines), and on voyages 16 nights or longer. Guests will still need to show proof that they are fully vaccinated.

The cruise line will also allow all unvaccinated guests to sail, and unvaccinated guests will not be required to apply for a vaccine exemption. They will still need to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within three days prior to departure. This update does not apply to sailings in Australia or on voyages 16 nights and longer.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises Ship
Photo Credit: Media Whalestock / Shutterstock

Starting from August 8, Celebrity Cruises will have its newly updated protocols in place. The Royal Caribbean-owned cruise brand will no longer require vaccinated guests to take a pre-cruise test on shorter sailings under six nights in length from U.S. ports.

When it comes to six nights and longer sailings, all guests will be required to do a pre-cruise test. The cruise line is dealing with full details on these newly updated protocols shortly. You can also check the official details here.

August 10, 2022 Update

Just as sister cruise line Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises will introduce even further relaxed protocols on sailings departing from September 5, 2022. All guests, regardless of vaccination status, can cruise out of the UK, Europe and Los Angeles as long as the testing requirements can be met.

Margaritaville at Sea

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Port of Palm Beach

As of July 22, 2022, Margaritaville at Sea no longer requires testing for vaccinated guests. Vaccinated guests will need to provide proof of vaccination (two-dose or single dose taken at least 14 days prior to departure), and unvaccinated guests will need to provide negative antigen test results administered by a verified testing agency, taken no more than one day prior to sailing date.

Guests aged three and older may embark without testing or vaccination, if providing documentation that he/she has recovered from COVID-19 between ten to 90 days prior to the departure date (not counting departure date), presenting a positive test result from a dated CDC-approved testing facility. Guests under two years old will have no vaccination or testing requirements.

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises Ship
Photo Credit: Ronald Rampsch / Shutterstock

On August 1, 2022, MSC Cruises announced that starting from August 8, fully vaccinated guests sailing on a cruise of five nights or shorter will no longer be required to provide a negative test result before sailing. Instead, the cruise line only recommends getting tested before sailing.

For all unvaccinated guests aged two years and up, a lab-administered negative viral test (NAAT or antigen) taken within three days of embarkation is needed for all cruises from U.S. ports. The same policy counts for all cruises onboard MSC cruise ships sailing itineraries six days and longer from U.S. ports. 

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line Ship
Photo Credit: hbw_pictures /

On August 8, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced a further easing of protocols starting on September 3, 2022, across its three cruise brands. The company has relaxed its protocols more than any other, with vaccinated guests aged 12 and over no longer having to undergo any pre-cruise requirements.

Read Also: Oceania Cruises Releases Updated Cruise Requirements

The cruise line will also accept unvaccinated guests with a negative test result taken within 72 hours before departure. However, for cruises that depart or visit Canada, Greece and Bermuda, protocols may be more strict due to local requirements in place.

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises Funnel
Photo Credit: meunierd / Shutterstock

Effective on September 6, 2022, Princess Cruises will remove all of its vaccine requirements for most voyages less than 16 days long.

The line will no longer require guests to be fully vaccinated, and fully vaccinated guests will not have to test before boarding except for full Panama Canal transits, trans-ocean, and other unique itineraries. Proof of vaccination will need to be uploaded on the OceanReady app. 

Unvaccinated guests will need to provide a negative self-test result taken within three days of embarkation, but unvaccinated children under five years old will not be required to pre-cruise test.

Guests 5 and over, sailing on voyages longer than 16 nights or sailing full Panama Canal transits, trans-ocean and other specified itineraries, will need to take a supervised test within three days of embarkation.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Ship
Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

Effective August 8, 2022, Royal Caribbean testing requirements will vary by port of departure and vaccination status. For all sailings from U.S. homeports with no stops in Bermuda or Canada, fully vaccinated guests must bring a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within the three days before boarding on sailings that are six nights or longer only, but testing is not required for fully vaccinated guests on shorter itineraries.

Guests two to 11 years of age who are not fully vaccinated will need to bring a negative test result for an antigen or PCR test taken within the three days before boarding day, regardless of the duration of the cruise, but they will no longer be required to take a second test at the terminal. Guests under the age of two will have no testing requirements.

August 10, 2022 Update

On August 10, Royal Caribbean announced that further updates would be coming on departures from September 5, 2022, on select sailings. The vaccine requirement on cruises out of Galveston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and homeports in Europe will be dropped. However, guests will still need to follow the pre-cruise test requirements for these departures.

Viking Cruises

Viking Cruises Funnel
Photo Credit: Travel Faery / Shutterstock

Currently, Viking will require all guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to travel. Viking will no longer require a pre-departure test, unless one is required by the destination.

As of June 14, 2022, select voyages on the Viking Orion and the Viking Octantis in the United States and Canada will continue to require a pre-departure test. 

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages Cruise Ship Funnel
Photo Courtesy: Virgin Voyages

Updated August 2, 2022, a majority (90%) of guests will need to be vaccinated, but ten percent of guests may be unvaccinated and will be required to bring a negative test result taken within 24 hours of embarkation.

As of July 24, 2022, for Valiant Lady and July 27, 2022, for Scarlet Lady, testing to board for vaccinated guests was removed.

More Changes to Come

With multiple cruise lines relaxing requirements step-by-step, cruisers can expect further updates to come. Cruise lines are aiming to allow all guests to sail and align with other travel sectors.

There is currently no clear date for when all requirements will be fully dropped, but Cruise Hive will make sure readers are updated on this page. It is always important to check the official protocols from a cruise line if you have a planned cruise vacation.

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