Cruise Lines Reopening: What You Need to Know

Cruising is slowly returning to the seas, and many cruise lines are now open or planning to reopen soon. Aida Cruises, Ama Waterways, American Queen Steamboat Company, Azamara, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Viking are all open or planning to open soon. Carnival Cruise Line recently updated its protocols for unvaccinated passengers, now allowing them to disembark. However, several destinations still don't allow unvaccinated travelers.

Masks are optional for most indoor spaces on board the ships. On March 11, Disney Cruise Line lifted its mandate to wear masks on board and passengers no longer have to be tested for Covid-19 before sailing. Passengers over 2 years old must still wear a face covering while at the Walt Disney Theater. American Cruise Lines resumed intra-coastal waterway cruises in Georgia and South Carolina on March 13 with a ship, the Independence for 100 passengers.

Carnival Cruise Line plans to restart cruises from Galveston, Texas in July with two ships. The line has also announced plans to resume cruises to Alaska from Seattle on July 27 with the Carnival Miracle and expects to resume cruises from Miami with the Carnival Horizon in July. MSC Cruises has resumed its departures outside Italy with two ships and departures from the United Kingdom. It plans to resume sailing in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe with seven more ships by August.

Tauck plans to resume some maritime cruise itineraries focusing on Iceland and Greece in June and July. European river cruises will resume in August with departures in France and Portugal. Viking started in United Kingdom in May and recently restarted a handful of “welcome” trips from Bermuda. The line has also announced plans to add cruises to Iceland and the Mediterranean in July. Virgin Voyages plans to carry out new domestic summer cruises in the United Kingdom only for vaccinated residents of the United Kingdom starting July 15. Disney Cruise Line resumed service in August with DisneyFantasy and DisneyMagic departing from Port Canaveral and Miami respectively.

Crystal Cruises plans to resume cruises on July 3 with one of its two largest ocean ships, Crystal Serenity, which will sail from Nassau, in the Bahamas. President Biden signed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act on May 25 which now means that cruise lines can resume operations from Seattle, Washington to Alaska temporarily without needing to visit Canada. Cruise lines around the world are gradually easing restrictions as they seek to begin their recovery from the pandemic.

Elise Thorne
Elise Thorne

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