The world is slowly transitioning away from a “survive Covid” mentality to a “living with Covid” mentality. That shift in perspective has even found its way into the cruise industry with Norwegian Cruise Line as a case in point.
The 56-year-old company recently announced that it would drop virtually all of its previously iron-clad Covid-related requirements for passengers. That includes masking requirements, vaccination requirements, and even the preboarding antigen testing requirements.
This marks a near 180 about-face for the cruise line that once required every passenger and crew member to prove their full vaccination status before getting on the ships and heading out to sea. For unvaccinated passengers or those simply desiring an escape from the omnipresent virus, this will likely come as very welcome news.
Norwegian embraced heightened safety standards consistent with the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness program while the pandemic was peaking. Some of the key features of that safety and wellness program included preboarding antigen tests, additional medical staffing, public health officers, medical grade air filtration, and heightened cleaning and disinfection procedures.
While the vaccination, testing, and masking requirements are going away, it’s expected that Norwegian will keep most of the other SailSAFE program features in place for the time being.
Other cruise lines, such as Carnival, Princess, and Costa have also loosened Covid-related restrictions and requirements for travelers, although not quite so thoroughly as Norwegian. Testing and other restrictions may apply based on your destination.