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.
Do I need a vaccine to travel on a Holland America Cruise?
At this time, Holland America is not requiring vaccines for all guests, but mandatory enhanced pre-embarkation health screenings, including 100% testing for COVID-19 prior to embarkation, touchless temperature checks and health questionnaires, in accordance with the latest guidelines
It’s important to note that moving forward, no later than 24 hours prior to sailing, each adult guest will be required to complete a Health Questionnaire, review and accept our Passage Contract (which now includes provisions specific to COVID-19 and guest protocols) and review and accept our COVID-19 Risk Acceptance document.
Guests who do not accept the documents will not be permitted to sail.
New temporary testing requirement are effective with cruises departing on Saturday, August 14, 2021.
- Effective with cruises departing on Saturday, August 14, 2021, we will require ALL fully vaccinated guests to produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 72 hours of their embarkation on all Holland America Line sailings.
- 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.
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?
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.
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.
Do I need to wear a mask?
When physical distancing can’t be maintained, or when mandated by public health authorities, masks will be required on board, at private islands, and during shore excursions. Masks must be worn in terminals, during embarkation and disembarkation.
Things to know:
- All guests should carefully review pre-booking and pre-travel health advice on our website and the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- It is strongly encouraged that all guests wear face masks when indoors.
- 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.
- Guests will be required to wear face masks prior to being seated in our main dining rooms and in the Lido Market area. You may occasionally be asked to wear a mask in other designated areas where larger number of guests may congregate.
- As a reminder, masks are required during embarkation and debarkation in the terminal, and masks must also be worn during the debarkation process on board.
- We recommend guests wash or replace their mask daily and choose a good quality double-layer cloth or paper medical-grade mask.
- Please note that bandanas, neck gaiters and masks with exhaust valves will not be accepted as a substitute for a face mask and that visors and face shields are only permitted when used in addition to a mask.
Can I get off the ship at port?
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
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