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.


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  1. Patty Drake January 26, 2023 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Will be taking a 35 day cruise onboard Holland utilizing Verifly for embarking. Is there an at home COVID test that can be used and accepted by Holland? Does it need be done via proxy?
    Look forward to hearing from you
    Patty Drake

    • Julie January 30, 2023 at 10:52 am - Reply

      If your cruise requires a COVID test, please confirm if the at-home test must be medically supervised. If yes, you need to get one that is medically supervised online. If NOT, then you can simply take a test and then photograph the results with the date written on the test. You can check your protocols here:

  2. Angela Smith September 14, 2022 at 12:12 am - Reply

    Curious if time zone changes matter. If I take a medically observed test shortly after midnight EST on a Friday, and I depart Sunday from Vancouver, is that ok…I know the consideration is days not hours, but curious if it matters crossing time zones since after midnight est is still Thursday evening in Vancouver.

  3. Hayley Baron September 6, 2022 at 6:48 am - Reply


    We fly to Vancouver later this month to pick up an Alaskan Cruise.

    We have very limited time on arrival so the most convenient option for us to obtain our test is via a supervised test offered in the UK using one of the UK government approved testing kits. This would be within the 2 day pre-cruise window.

    Will this be acceptable or do we need to use US tests kits?

  4. Sam August 26, 2022 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Hi, We have an Alaska cruise on in September departing from Vancouver. Does HAL accept home testing monitored by OnPoint? We used OnPoint with our last Carnival cruise.

  5. Darlene August 22, 2022 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    I would prefer to get my COVID test done at my Doctors office. Is that acceptable? If yes, what information is required to be put on the result letter?

  6. Mike August 20, 2022 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Hello! We are embarking from Greece on August 28th. Can we use the BinaxNOW rapid Antigen test for our Covid Testing requirement for Holland America?

    Also, is it actually 48 hours before boarding or 2 days?

    Thank you!

  7. Marcia August 11, 2022 at 11:54 am - Reply

    I ordered tests from e-Med and see instructions to create a Navica app account. Holland America website directs me to use the VeriFly app. Is there a reason to use the Navica app? Should I only use the account created directly on e-Med?

  8. John August 6, 2022 at 5:22 am - Reply

    It is very confusing for passengers taking any cruise who travel internationally involving several hours time difference to know what the timescale allowed for the antigen test ‘within 2 days’ actually means. For example we fly from the UK to Vancouver on Tuesday and the cruise leaves on Wednesday. Can we take the test anytime on Monday given the 8 hour time difference?

  9. Susan August 5, 2022 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    Is the I-Health (free home test) proctored by On Point an approved test to use? Or are we required to only use Binax/ e Med or Radeas?

  10. renee friedman August 1, 2022 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Is an Antigen test provided by Medilove ( Test Before You Go ) or LHicare acceptable tests for the Alaska Cruise with Holland America?

  11. Linda Goh August 1, 2022 at 6:10 am - Reply

    We fly from Seattle to Amsterdam on Sept 23 morning for a Norway cruise leaving at 5 pm on Sept 25. We are fully vaccinated and twice boosted. Questions: (1) can we take the antigen test anytime o Sept 22 before flying to Amsterdam?
    (2) does HAL accept Walgreen results?


  12. Linda July 21, 2022 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    I am an Australian cruising from San Diago on 8th October. I fly out of Australia on 5/10 and arrive in San Diago the same day. We are fully vaccinated with boosters.
    What is the best way to arrange a Covid test for tourists?

  13. Kevin McIntosh July 18, 2022 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Is the 2 day window for an antigen test exactly 48hr. My dillema is our cruise leaves at 4 on sunday and our local clinic is only open until 10 am on friday. Otherwise we have to drive 120 miles to a Walgreens.

  14. Winnabel July 6, 2022 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    We are Canadian guests. Can we use rapid antigen tests from our home supervised by a nurse via telehealth?

  15. Ilene Schneider June 23, 2022 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    We are embarking on Sunday, June 26, on a cruise from Amsterdam to Norway. We had the antigen test at 4:30 PM Thurs., June 23, within the 72 hours required. I am filling out VeriFLY and it will not allow me to enter the date. Did we take the test too early? (Yes, the results were negative.)

  16. Linda June 2, 2022 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Do you accept video Covid test results that are supervised?

  17. Heather May 12, 2022 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    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?

  18. Judith Eliasson March 24, 2022 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    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?

  19. Brian Baxter March 15, 2022 at 10:12 am - Reply

    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.

  20. Vivian March 13, 2022 at 1:24 pm - Reply

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

  21. Nancy March 8, 2022 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    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 –

  22. Marie Guest March 7, 2022 at 6:07 pm - Reply

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

  23. Marilyn March 5, 2022 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    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?

  24. Al Crain January 25, 2022 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    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.

  25. Spencer Hankin December 23, 2021 at 12:34 am - Reply

    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?

  26. Andrea Divino December 16, 2021 at 12:35 am - Reply

    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

  27. David Blouw December 13, 2021 at 11:47 am - Reply

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

  28. Michael McCampbell December 1, 2021 at 2:38 pm - Reply


    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?

  29. Hannah November 28, 2021 at 2:24 pm - Reply

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

  30. James Michael Adell October 15, 2021 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    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?

  31. Tom Blaedon October 10, 2021 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    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)?

  32. Tom Blaedon October 10, 2021 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    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.

  33. Katherine Drew October 8, 2021 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    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?

  34. Stacey October 4, 2021 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    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?

  35. Kathleen E Taylor October 3, 2021 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    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.

  36. Sharon Lepin September 29, 2021 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    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

  37. STEWART September 29, 2021 at 7:54 am - Reply

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

  38. Bonnie September 28, 2021 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    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?

  39. Karen Tigchelaar September 28, 2021 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    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 ?

  40. Howard Richmond September 28, 2021 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    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

  41. peter miller September 28, 2021 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    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?

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