Great news! Holland America Cruise ships are back in the water! We are your resource for the most up to date information around vaccination & testing requirements, whether you will need a mask, taking shore excursions, and health & safety measurements taken by the cruise line.
Holland America has announced temporary vaccinated cruise standards for its first few ships departing in August. These new temporary cruise standards are in response to the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant. We are hopeful these measures will be temporary, and we will continue to adjust our protocols based on the advice of our medical and public health advisors.
Quick checklist of what you need prior to boarding your cruise. More details can be found below:
- Negative viral COVID-19 test taken within 2 days of departure
- Vaccine card if vaccinated, Travel Insurance Requirement for unvaccinated guests on Florida & Texas based ships
- Complete online health questionnaire 72-24 hours prior to sailing
- Masks are now required for all guests regardless of vaccine status
- Shore excursion requirements
1. Temporary COVID-19 Testing Requirements for sailings up to and including October 31, 2021.
- As of Sep. 13th, guests will need negative Covid tests within 2 days of sailing for voyages sailing between 9/13/21 - 12/31/21 within US ports based on the recent CDC updates for the Conditional Sail Order.
- Sailings are available to fully vaccinated guests only. Fully vaccinated guests will be required to provide proof of this negative COVID-19 test, along with proof of full vaccination at least 14 days prior to embarkation, upon arrival in the terminal and can then proceed on board.
- For guests embarking in the United States, please note that testing in the terminal will not be available so it’s critical that you have your negative test results with you at cruise check-in. We will not be able to accommodate guests without proof of a negative test.
- For guests embarking in Europe, we are conducting mandatory COVID-19 antigen testing at the pier pursuant to the EU Healthy Gateways Protocols. This test will be complimentary, and a negative result will satisfy our new testing requirements.
2. Proof of Vaccination: Guests will be asked to confirm their status as fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination in advance of boarding.
* It’s important for guests to come prepared, as those who arrive at the embarkation terminal without the proper proof of vaccination will not be able to cruise, and no refund will be issued.
- Guests must present proof of vaccination, as well as all required travel documents, at embarkation.
- Acceptable proofs of full vaccination include: COVID-19 vaccination card; digital COVID-19 certificate (QR code acceptable); or record of COVID-19 vaccination from a healthcare provider including original digital email notification, personal electronic health record, or government Immunization information system (IIS) record.
- The name and birth date on the vaccination record must match the guest’s travel documents and show that the guest is fully vaccinated. This means that the guest has completed the full cycle of required doses for the vaccine administered (i.e., received the second dose in a two-dose series) and that the guest has received the final dose at least 14 days before the sailing date.
- Alternatively, guests may present a digital COVID-19 Certificate (QR code acceptable) and a record of COVID-19 vaccination from a healthcare provider (original digital email accepted), personal electronic health record, or government Immunization Information System record.
- Holland America recommends you have the contact information (email and phone) immediately available of the healthcare provider or clinic site that issued the certificate, in order to validate the vaccination if needed. A vaccination registry site may also be used.
What Vaccines are accepted?
To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have received the full series of a United States FDA or World Health Organization authorized COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of authorized vaccines, and have received your last dose at least 14 days prior to the day of embarkation.
- For cruises departing from the United States, the CDC requires both vaccines in a 2-dose series to be of the same type. They also accept mixing mRNA vaccines only (each dose is from either Pfizer and Moderna.) No other combinations are considered fully vaccinated.
- For cruises departing outside of the United States, you may be regarded as fully vaccinated if you have received your first dose of AstraZeneca followed by a single dose of mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) to complete the 2-dose series.
What proof of Vaccine do I need to provide?
It is our guests’ responsibility to comply with our current Holland America Line vaccination policy. Additionally, using the Navigator mobile app or online check-in, guests will be required to attest that they are fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise, and bring an original proof of vaccination to cruise check-in.
- The original proof of vaccination should clearly show the guest’s name on the vaccination card matching their photo ID, the dates of vaccine doses (final dose must have been received at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise), and the name of facility administering the vaccination.
- Alternative proof may be required if there are questions and concerns about the submitted proof of vaccination.
- Failure to provide this required documentation may result in denial of boarding.
- During check-in at the terminal, guests are required to show proof of vaccination.
We do not collect vaccination cards or store proof of vaccination. Those cruise lines that have vaccine requirements to cruise will likely ask for proof at the time of boarding.
3. Health Questionnaire: You must also complete your Holland America Line health questionnaire 72-24 hours before you embark the ship using the Navigator mobile app or online check-in. You’ll be asked to complete the questionnaire before leaving home to begin traveling on your vacation, and then reconfirm your answers when arriving at the port.
- If you have any symptoms of illness, you will be separated from other embarking guests for secondary medical screening. Depending on the outcome of the screening, you and your traveling party may be denied boarding. During a secondary medical screening, our medical staff will need to verify your health questionnaire answers, or any corrections, and then consider whether to permit you to embark.
- If you refuse to be tested or screened, or to follow the COVID-19 Protocols, you may be denied boarding and no refund or credit will be issued. Information provided will be subject to our privacy notice on hollandamerica.com, and shared only as needed with Holland America Line personnel, third parties or local health authorities as part of screening and embarkation-related health protocols.
4. Masks are now required for all guests regardless of vaccine status: We strongly encourage guests wear face masks when in public spaces indoors. Effective with cruises departing on August 7th, ALL guests will be required to wear a face mask – with no exceptions – in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino except when eating or drinking.
Things to know:
- Guests will also be required to wear face masks prior to being seated in our main dining rooms and in the buffet area, and occasionally in other designated areas where larger number of guests may congregate.
- As a reminder, masks are required during embark and debark in the terminal, and masks should also be worn during the debarkation process on board.
- Holland America Line is providing a double-layer cloth mask for each guest on board.
- Guests may also use their own double-layer cloth or paper medical mask.
- Face coverings such as bandanas, neck gaiters, and masks with exhaust valves are not allowed.
- We always recommend guests wash or replace their mask daily and choose a good quality, ideally medical grade, standard mask.
- Please note that visors and face shields will not be accepted as a substitute for a face mask.
- These new requirements are being implemented to protect our guests and crew while onboard.
- Several destinations have implemented their own requirements and all guests will be required to follow the protocols in each destination we visit.
- We expect these requirements will be temporary and we appreciate your cooperation and look forward to welcoming you aboard.
- All guests ages 12 and older will be required to wear face masks in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino, except when eating or drinking.
5. Shore Excursions
It is more than likely that you will need a booked shore excursion to get off the ship once you arrive at port.
Things to know:
- Cruise Lines are working with local authorities, destinations and tour operators so that the enhanced health and safety measures on board are maintained ashore.
- Guests must follow the health protocols for every port they visit.
- There may be a reduction in the capacity of excursions and tour vehicles.
- Only shore excursions that comply with prescribed protocols will be permitted, with strict adherence required of all guests and possible denial of re-boarding for any guests who do not comply.
Health & Safety on the Ship
Ships and terminals will undergo a thorough sanitization between sailings and guests will be encouraged to use the hand-washing sinks and hand sanitizer dispensers at venue entrances and in high-traffic areas throughout the ship. Guests will also be asked to follow health information about the ways to stay healthy on board and when ashore.
Holland America has not yet made an announcement about how buffets will operate.
Things to know:
- All guests and crew embarking a ship will likely undergo enhanced pre-embarkation health screening in accordance with prevailing health best practices, such as health questionnaires and touch-free temperature checks as appropriate
- Ships have introduced enhanced fresh air distribution into public spaces and staterooms and HEPA filtration systems to key areas such as Medical Centers and dedicated isolation rooms
- Rapid response and contact tracing plans exist in case of on-board illness
- Ships have a team of highly-trained medical staff including qualified doctors and nurses who have experience in caring for a broad range of medical conditions and medical centers with both outpatient and inpatient facilities including critical care capabilities
- There are enhanced Health & Safety Trainings and Continued Education for Crew Members focusing on COVID-19
Check here for the most up to date information on each Cruise Destination, including vaccination requirements, mask mandates, shore excursions, and insurance requirements.