Covid has made travel, specifically cruising, extremely complicated due to the changes in what is understood about the virus and vaccines. So it’s no surprise, with what we know changing daily, that cruise lines have to adjust, and the latest Norwegian health and safety protocols are an example of that. Realizing that the health and safety of their guests and crew members is the number one priority, anyone currently scheduled to sail or considering whether or not to do so must exercise some patience with the ever changing rules and restrictions.
Related: What you need to know about sailing on Norwegian in 2021
Please be advised that our Health & Safety FAQs have been updated with important information. Remember this document remains fluid and we are expecting updates possibly as early as next week. As always your go-to link for up-to-the-minute details on vaccination requirements, testing protocols, and health and safety procedures, is www.ncl.com/safe.Norwegian
How do I know if there are any travel restrictions that could impact my cruise?
Norwegian is closely monitoring the evolving global public health environment and to the extent, any itineraries are affected, will notify impacted guests in a timely fashion and update their booking requirements. Addtional travel restrictions for certain nationalities or countries may arise based on the quickly evolving public health environment. All guests are strongly advised to monitor current travel requirements and advisories for their home countries.
As of 8/9/21, the Bahamas Government will only be accepting vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson Janssen, and AstraZeneca/Oxford in order for guests to disembark in the Bahamas. Guests who are fully vaccinated with Sinopharm BIBP and Sinovac will not be allowed to disembark in the Bahamas, however, they will be able to sail and remain onboard while in port.
What documents will be required to show proof of vaccination and when do we provide them?
Guest must acknowledge vaccination status prior to their sailing and bring proof of vaccination to the terminal for their cruise. The preferred form of proof is the original vaccination record document issued by either the country’s health authority that administered the vaccination or the guest’s medical provider that completed the vaccine administration, however, a photo of the vaccination record document will also be accepted. Electronic vaccination records will be accepted for residents of countries where electronic documentation is the standard issued form. Confirmation email of vaccination appointment will not be accepted. Communication regarding proof of vaccination submission will be sent to all booked guests in the 30 days prior to setting sail.
Will NCL offer testing on board to meet travel requirements for guests flying back to countries that require negative COVID-19 test results to re-enter the country post cruise?
Yes, COVID-19 antigen or PCR tests prior to disembarkation will be administered on board and paid for by the Cruise Line for those guests who require a test to return home. If a PCR test is required for any travel home, the Cruise Line will administer and pay for a PCR test, only for those guests whose home country specifically requires a PCR test. The PCR test onboard for cruises from Europe will be administered by Eurofins. The PCR test for US-based sailings will be administered by Norwegian Cruise Line’s medical staff.
If a guest has any other travel plans after disembarking the ship, other than returning to their home country, the guest can still request a PCR test onboard, at a fee of $150 per person.
If a guest booked a post-cruise hotel for more than three nights, it is the responsibility of the guest to make their own arrangements to get re-tested at their own expense.
Will I be required to take a COVID-19 test to disembark the vessel?
On US-based vessels, Norwegian does not require a disembarkation test. However, this does not supersede home country requirements. For Europe-based vessels, a disembarkation test is required and will be administered onboard and the cost will be covered by Norwegian Cruise Line.
Will I be required to take a COVID-19 test in order to embark on the second leg of a back-to-back sailing?
No, since all cruises will be 100% fully vaccinated, testing for back-to-back sailings is not applicable.
About the Author
Joel is a co-owner of JJ Travel Associates (a Dream Vacations franchise), blogger-in-chief at JoelKnowsTravel.com, lover of all things travel (especially UNESCO World Heritage Sites), wannabe comedian, and the person you should call if you're thinking of planning a vacation.