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VIDEO: Dr. Brenda Answers Your Top Questions on Our Health Protocols

What are the policies for vaccinated guests? What recommendations do you have for guests traveling internationally? Dr. Brenda Barnetson, senior director of clinical services, answers your top questions on health protocols for Holland America Line cruise departures from the U.S. and Europe. For more details about our TravelWell® health protocols, please visit the Holland America Line website.

  • peter miller

    I have a cruise from san diego to mexico jan. 2, 2022, what policies will I have to follow? In jan 2021 I conttracted the covid virus and spent 16 days in a hospital, I have had 2 shots of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. What else besides the card CIGNA gave me will I need?

  • Howard Richmond

    I am on a cruise from san diego on 2/1/22 and have to travel to san diego on the 1st.I have no idea of how to do a “medically supervised” test while I am traveling to san diego. I checked local firms and they said it takes 2-3 days to get results. Quick “home” tests which give results quickly are apparently not accepted by Holland America. If you don’t do the tests at the pier like other cruise lines I don’t know How I can continue to do business with you as you make it almost impossible

  • Karen Tigchelaar

    My husband and I both have a Drs exemption of the covid vaccine . We have both had covid and have antibodies to further infection . Are we not allowed to travel on HAL , even if we have a pcr test ?

  • Bonnie

    Myself and husband are both fully vaccinated and also have the booster. When will we be able to cruise as he uses oxygen to sleep and occasionally during the day?


    when are going to recognize Canadians with mixed vaccines and/or the az vaccine?

  • Sharon Lepin

    Having life lab test in B C. oct 13 to fly oct 15 to Venice a d boarding .Eurodam Oct 18
    Will be tested at the terminal in Venice and is there a fee
    Thank you

  • Julie

    Hi Peter, here are our current health protocols. We expect 2022 to be released shortly:

  • Julie

    Hi Howard, we do accept rapid tests, so you can do it this way. We also accept medically supervised tests, so as long as you are supervised via zoom or in a drive-thru.

  • Julie

    Please call reservations to discuss this, as we do not have authority over this type of exemption at the blog.

  • Julie

    Hi Bonnie, please call reservations, as we do not have information on when the ban of portable oxygen will be lifted.

  • Julie

    Hi Stewrt, we are following the guideline of the CDC.

  • Kathleen E Taylor

    My friend and I are sailing on November 27 ,2021 out of Fr Lauderdale. We don’t know what to do . Thursday is Thanksgiving (every thing will be closed ) and Friday is our flight we don’t know when to get our Covid test. Can you please advise. I don’t have a smart phone to zoom.

  • Julie

    Please see if your local CVS or Walgreens is open Thursday, and Friday is ok, you can take a rapid test before or after your flight. You also can see if any of our Quest locations are available (in Miami it’s at Walmart, not a Quest facility).

  • Stacey

    For those of us leaving the ship at the end of our cruise and flying out to another country that requires a COVID test; does the ship provide any testing?

  • Julie

    A complimentary antigen or PCR COVID-19 test will be administered to all guests on board on Day 5 or 6 of the voyage. This test fulfills the requirements for onward travel home in most instances where guests board a flight immediately after their cruise.

  • Katherine Drew

    We are booked on the December 26, 2021 cruise from San Diego on the Konigsdam. This will require us to take a Covid test on either December 24 or 25. Quest Diagnostics is closed on December 24 and 25. We have been unable to find a pharmacy that offers testing on either of those dates. Can you give any advice, other than cancelling this cruise?

  • Tom Blaedon

    My wife and I are taking a 14 day cruise next summer round trip out of Amsterdam. On disembarkation day, we have a return flight to the US at noon. Your current Travel Safe information indicates that Covid testing will be provided onboard on the 5th or 6th day of the cruise. That will not satisfy the 72 hour prior to travel requirement for retuning to the US. Will that on board testing be done on a later day for a 14 day cruise? Please advise.

  • Tom Blaedon

    Your Travel Safe information indicates that the name on the vaccination ID card needs to match that which is listed on our photo ID (passport?). My first name is Thomas on my passport, but shown as Tom on my vaccination card. Will that cause a problem with embarkation? Will I have to have to have my vaccination card issued (if that is even possible)?

  • Julie

    Hi Tom, the testing will be conducted as the requirements are needed so you will be ok.

  • Julie

    You will be ok. It’s more if your passport name is Thomas and you have Jason on your vaccine card.

  • Julie

    Hi Katherine. Holland America Line accepts the results of home tests administered while being supervised online. We have partnered with Optum so that U.S.-based vaccinated guests can order an FDA-authorized at-home antigen test kit, shipped to your door in 3 business days or less. These at-home tests include a personal virtually video-supervised visit with an eMed Certified Guide through telehealth services. These guides will help you properly administer the test and verify the results, within 15 minutes. The lab result report is delivered via email and can be printed or displayed on your mobile device during check-in. Please place your order with enough time to be shipped prior to your boarding. Click to order your kit:

    An option for COVID-19 testing is through a company called Curative. You will be able to find a location and schedule a service at one of their 10,000 sites. You will get your test at one of their drive-thrus, kiosks, or mobile sites and receive your results digitally in 1-2 days. Please visit

  • James Michael Adell

    My family of six sails from Fort Lauderdale on December 30th on Nieuw Amsterdam. My worry is that, particularly with the holidays, the results of our test that is required two days before sailing will not be completed and sent to us.

    What happens if we can show that we had the test but have not received results while traveling?

  • Julie

    Hi James, if you have proof you were tested within two days, we will test you at the pier, so no worries! Enjoy your cruise.

  • Hannah

    Hello! We just booked “Rapid PCR” tests through Curative for our Fort Lauderdale cruise on Dec 26. Are these acceptable for the cruise?

  • Julie

    Yes, they are as long as they are medically administered or observed.

  • Michael McCampbell


    Walgreen’s currently offers a Rapid Diagnostic Test (ID Now by Abbot Labs) for Covid. The test is supervised by Walgreen’s staff and the results are available in 15 minutes. Is this acceptable for Holland America passengers in the USA to use on cruises to the Carribean, leaving from Fort Lauderdale and returning to the same location?

  • Julie

    Yes, that works!

  • David Blouw

    Our cruise leaves on December 26th. What is the earliest we can have a covid test due to the holidays?

  • Andrea Divino

    Just double checking that for the Dec. 26th sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, a rapid test is ok. Since I’ll have to get a test on Christmas Eve, the clinics to choose from are few. Thank you

  • Julie

    Yes, rapid tests are ok.

  • Julie

    Two days before is the earliest.

  • Spencer Hankin

    Is 2 days considered 48 hours or within 2 calendar days of embarkation? If the cruise leaves at 4pm on the 30th is a test taken before 4pm on the 28th still valid?

  • Julie

    So sorry for the delay. Two days is two calendar days.

  • Al Crain

    My wife and I will be travelling from San Diego and would like to know if Holland America has recommendations for places to get a Covid test prior to boarding? What if the test do not come back in time? CVS is saying it will take 2-3 Days. Can you get a test at the Cruise Terminal? Thanks.

  • Julie

    Hi Al, we have a limited number of tests available in the terminal, and you must have a reservation. Reservations can be made at That said, if you take a test at CVS or somewhere and do not get the result but have proof of testing, we will test you free of charge. We also accept home testing that is medically supervised.

  • Marilyn

    Your website states that you have partnered with Optum for purchase of the BinaxNow Ag Card Home Test and the people who supervise your test is eMed. EMed also sells the tests. Can I buy from them and still be in compliance?

  • Julie

    As long as it is medically supervised, it will be accepted.

  • Marie Guest

    Is the Abbott ID Now test given by Walgreens an acceptable test?

  • Nancy

    We have a cruise planned for June 18th, leaving from Montreal and ending in Boston. I am thinking about choosing the opposite, to start in Boston and end in Montreal. We would get tested before boarding in Boston, but how are the Canadian entry requirements handled? Do we all get tested on board? If we stay with the Montreal departure, would we have to get tested for Canadian entry, and then again to board? We will fly to Montreal a day or two before the cruise. Thanks very much –

  • Vivian

    Does Holland America Cruise Line accept “rapid antigen” test?

  • Julie

    Yes, we do!

  • Julie

    We are still working through the Canadian protocols and will communicate those as soon as we are finalized.

  • Julie

    I am not familiar with that test, so please call Holland America Line to confirm. We accept antigen and rapid tests as long as they are medically supervised.

  • Brian Baxter

    My wife and I are booked on an Alaska cruise in April. We are Canadian and in early March we both tested positive for covid on a government supplied rapid test. My wife’s retest is now negative but I am still positive. What I have read is that one can remain positive for weeks and even months after the test but you are not infectious. If this happens it is likely if I have to have a negative test prior to boarding the Cruise in April I will be declined boarding. I think in Canada with the supply of rapid test this is going to happen more frequently. I am not sure what we should do? Do we cancel now – or just wait until the last minute in hopes I will test negative.

  • Judith Eliasson

    I am departing on a cruise from San Diego on Sunday 4/3 at 5p. I’m fully vaccinated and boosted. I think I’m qualified to test within 3 days before departure. I have a proctored test scheduled for 12:20p (Pacific Time) on Thursday 3/31. Is this acceptable to meet the requirement?

  • Julie

    You can bring a doctor’s note stating when you were positive. But please call reservations to confirm this policy is still in place.

  • Julie

    Yes, it is 3 days.

  • Heather

    We are leaving next week on an Alaskan cruise out of Vancouver. Are the NAAT ID NOW tests by Abbott Laboratories acceptable for cruises departing from Canada?

  • Julie

    As long as they are medically supervised.

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