Holland America Line Simplifies COVID-19 Procedures

Holland America Line is updating its “Travel Well” COVID-19 protocols and procedures, including requirements for vaccinations and pre-cruise testing that meet public health goals while recognizing the evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation. These changes will go into effect for cruises departing on or after Sept. 6, 2022.

Under the simplified procedures, for most voyages up to 15 nights, vaccinated guests will no longer have to test before cruising and unvaccinated guests will be welcomed with a self-test within three days of sailing. The new protocols do not apply to itineraries for countries where local regulations may vary, including Canada, Australia, and Greece.

Key changes for cruises up to 15 nights (Ages 5 and older, not including full Panama Canal transits, trans-ocean and designated remote voyages):

• Vaccinated guests must provide evidence of vaccination status prior to embarkation. Pre-cruise testing is no longer required.
• Unvaccinated guests are welcomed aboard and must provide results of a negative medically supervised or self-test taken within three days of embarkation.

Protocols for cruises 16 nights or longer (plus full Panama Canal transit, trans-ocean and designated remote voyages, ages 5 and older):

• All guests will be required to submit a medically supervised COVID-19 test with written negative result. The test must be taken within three days of embarkation.
• Guests must be vaccinated or request an exemption.

Guests on longer voyages will be provided additional information about protocols based on ports visited. Guests can continue to submit documents electronically ahead of embarkation for a simple and faster check-in process. Holland America Line recommends that guests visit the TravelWell section of the company’s website for updates prior to cruise departure, as well as instructions on how to provide results of a negative test.


Join the Discussion


  1. Rosilyn Jensen September 26, 2022 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    We are going on the 16 day Panama Canal cruise in January. It says cruise’s 15 day and under do not need a Covid test. We have our 2 shots and a booster right now and plan to get another booster before cruising. Will we have to test prior to boarding. It will be unlikely that we can test as when leaving it’s not available for us to test. Rosilyn Jensen

  2. jd james September 26, 2022 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    san diego to hawaii. January 2023. vacinnated, not boosted. do i still have to test? 3 days? 2 days?

  3. paul versteeg September 26, 2022 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    do we still need the test for panama canal departing from vancouver october 9 2022

  4. Lynn T Hogan September 26, 2022 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Today Canada announced removal of all COVID requirements. We are cruising out of Boston on 10/2 with stops in Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottestown and then on to Quebec.

    Since Canada is not requiring a COVID test for entry, is HA requiring a test (we are fully vaccinated and boosted)?

    Also, are all ports mentioned above open (after the hurricane)?

  5. Helen Dyck September 26, 2022 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Does a Canadian citzen boarding at YVR to FLL on N. Amsterdam still required preboarding Antigen test within 48 hours of sailing? Sailing date is Oct. 2nd.

  6. Betty wiser September 25, 2022 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Just calling to confirm covid protocol for the malt shop cruise are you requiring pre testing

  7. Maureen September 24, 2022 at 11:47 am - Reply

    San Diego to Ft Lauderdale thru Panama Canal. 17 days. Confused ..Do fully vaccinated traveler need negative covid test prior embarkment?

  8. P A Kunkel September 24, 2022 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I am leaving on a 51 day south pacific cruise on Sunday, Oct 2, 3pm out of Seattle. How many days/hours in advance do I have to get a negative covid test? I am fully vacinated.

  9. P A Kunkel September 24, 2022 at 9:33 am - Reply

    I am leaving on a 51 day south pacific cruise on Sunday, Oct 2, 3pm. How many days/hours in advance do I have to get a negative covid test?

  10. Miguel A Sanchez September 23, 2022 at 10:12 am - Reply

    I will take the Ooverdam, November 19, 2022 in Miami for 17 nights cruise to Panama Canal up to l Santiago de Chile. If we take a covid 19 text, keep de copy of the order, and at the time to aboard the result it is not ready, what happen then?

  11. Antonia Seeberg September 22, 2022 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Do you need a covid booster for a 7 day Caribbean cruise.?

  12. Mary September 21, 2022 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you Julie. I know this is confusing for everyone involved. However, the website still says as of 9/21/2022 1:33 PM PDT under FAQs and Covid-19 Requirements:

    (Updated) Am I still considered fully vaccinated if I did not get a booster shot?
    Yes – guests are still considered fully vaccinated with completion of a primary vaccination series at least 14 days before embarkation.

    There is another statement about “up to date” that mentions boosters a little further up the page.

  13. Mary September 20, 2022 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Hello. I have read that the 21 day Panama Canal cruise out of Seattle (October 8 – voyage D271) has changed the vaccination requirements to now include a Covid-19 booster in addition to the original series of two. Can you comment on this, as this is not what was stated earlier. ArrivCan does not require it on their app.

    Thank you.

  14. Mark September 19, 2022 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Cruising on Noordam to Sydney on October 8, 2022. Got “final” (ie second) COVID vaccine on April of 2021. Got booster on October of 2021. Is an additional booster required for this cruise? If not can we just show our vaccine documents to satisfy the requirements.

  15. Rb September 19, 2022 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Is the antibody prophylactic medicine available onboard if a passenger contracts covid (tests positive)?

  16. Cindy September 18, 2022 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Do you also need the boosters, to be considered fully vaccinated?

  17. Gaby September 17, 2022 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Also, what is the point to have a negative test at the start of the cruise and test positive some days later?
    On a week long or a longer cruise there is no guarantee for not picking up the virus, may it be in any port or through passengers or crew. We see now that vaccinations do not prevent one from catching it!

  18. Gabriele Surma September 17, 2022 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Would you kindly explain why testing is NOT required when going on a 14 day cruise whereas one has to be tested if going on a 20 day cruise? We are four times vaccinated and cruising out of Vancouver(where we live). Thank you.

  19. Martin Danielson September 16, 2022 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Excellent cruse, great ship but on last day of cruse got COVID so be careful folks it ain’t over yet

  20. Steve September 16, 2022 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Sailing 24 september from vancouver do we need a test to board we are fully vaccinated ?

  21. Brenda September 16, 2022 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Leaving oct 2nd it of Vancouver. We all fully vaccinated and have boosters do w still need to get an antigen test prior to boarding. Thanks

  22. Carol Foos-Coffman September 16, 2022 at 9:11 am - Reply

    This whole thing is confusing. We are going on an Alaskan cruise in June 22 do we need to test before we can get on the ship? We have our shots…

  23. Judy September 14, 2022 at 8:31 am - Reply

    I am Flying to Amsterdan on 9/29/2022 For a 10/02/2022 collectors voyage. Wi[[ aThrusday test be good for a sunday embark..

  24. Betty September 13, 2022 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    We r sailing on a 45 day cruise and we’re just told on the phone by a Holland America agent we don’t need to be tested. I’m confused

  25. john crowden September 12, 2022 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    We are on three back to backs. Oosterdam. Rome-Trieste-Barcelona-Miami. We will test prior to Trieste and Barcelona per HAL requirements. If found to be positive is HAL required to notify local authorities and transfer to an isolation hotel or do we just leave the ship and go on our way?

  26. M. Reedy September 12, 2022 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    How is the “ The test must be taken within three days of embarkation.”counted. I plan to take test on a Sunday and board my cruise in SanTiago, Chili on Wednesday. Please clarify how to count the three day requirement.
    Thank you

  27. Pam Hume September 12, 2022 at 6:38 am - Reply

    When is someone going to respond to my email, sent 14th June about tests that were a complete waste of time as they were never checked. (Also resent several times, and not even an acknowledgement). Not impressed with HA!

  28. Dianne September 11, 2022 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    When a medically supervised RAT is required, can this be carried out by pharmacies that offer this service such as Chemist Warehouse in Australia. They provide a certificate with the results.

  29. Peggi September 6, 2022 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Cruising on Eurodam oct 1, 2022 i know that antigen is required 2 days prior to embarkment, does this mean if we test thursday for a saturday embarkment we are ok or must be test on the friday

  30. Steve Whitehouse September 5, 2022 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    If we are unvaccinated and choose to not get off the ship in Victoria for an Alaskan cruise, can we board with a negative test?

  31. Susie September 5, 2022 at 11:02 am - Reply

    We tried to book two rooms going to Mexico from the US and found that we are to be fully vaccinated for this cruise. Why would you require this as this cruise is not going to Canada at all? And it seems other cruises have dropped this requirement for cruises going to Mexico.

    Also, we are confused about what you now considered vaccinated. Are boosters required?

  32. Larry Dotson September 4, 2022 at 6:12 am - Reply

    We took the option to be rebooked for a former (Covid Cancelled) Rotterdam 10day Norway to a now 7day booking leaving on Sept. 23, 2022 and continuing back-to-back with the 28day Oct. 2, 2022 150 Rotterdam Anniversary out of Amsterdam (all now leaving Rotterdam). Separate booking #s.

    Verifly request testing information. So, we put terminal testing is scheduled to satisfy the new enhanced procedures after the 7day cruise. Is this the right way to respond to Verifly?
    They do not have a reference for onboard testing.

    Thanks for reply.

  33. Greg Saban September 3, 2022 at 8:08 am - Reply

    On the current list of sailings and covid requirements dated Sept 1, 2022, it states that if your cruise/ship is not listed , use the General Covid Procedures. The Zaandam is leaving from Montreal Canada on Oct. 1st and is not on the list. So , which is correct?

  34. Edward Weeks September 2, 2022 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    I am booked for a 5-day itinerary aboard Nieuw Amsterdam Oct 25 – 30, 2022 which I believe will not require a negative COVID test result. I am also booked on the same vessel for Oct 30 – Nov 6, 2022, which is a whole ship charter. So far, the promoter is indicating a negative result COVID test will be required “per Holland America” for that cruise. Is this correct and, if so, why? If required, can the test be administered at the Port Everglades location and how can I arrange for that?

    Edward Weeks

  35. Jack Bachini September 2, 2022 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    If I am doing a 10 and 11 day cruise billed separately but back to back, which protocol applies, i.e. no test because each cruise is less than 16 days or are they considered one cruise of 21 days, therefor requiring a pre-cruise negative test?

    Jack Bachini

  36. Karen Simpson September 2, 2022 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Why are they still requiring a covid test if you are on a cruise less than 15 nights if you are on a full transit thru Panama Canal if you are fully vaccinated.

  37. Hong Le September 2, 2022 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Please clarify the following for a 5-day cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale:
    1. Is the Rapid Antigen test sufficient?
    2. If a home test is taken, does it have to be administered by a medical professional or supervised by a medical professional?
    3. If the cruise departs on a Sunday, what is the earliest day that the exam can be taken, Thursday or Friday before departure?

  38. Thomas Tasker September 1, 2022 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    If I am sailing to Alaska out of Vancouver on September 7th, will I still need a COVID Test if I am fully vaccinated?

  39. Graciela H. Paula August 30, 2022 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Understanding that even if one is fully vaccinated plus a booster, one would still need to take a COVID test within 48 to 72 hours since the last stop is in Canada? Speaking about the “Eurodam” Seattle, WA to several parts in Alaska, one stop in Canada ending back in Seattle, WA, please advise, thanks.

  40. Mike Wisgarda August 29, 2022 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    My post & query were removed. Not sure why this is not pertinent information. I inquired if pre-cruise testing would be required for Back to Back sailings or a Collector’s Voyage over 16 days would be required (where the segments are < 16 days). Assuming I am fully vax'd and none of the ports (Caribbean) would mandate. The clarification is for the 16 day threshold.

  41. Ralph Chadillon August 29, 2022 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Will I have to submit a negative Covid test result if I am fully vaccinated ( 4 shots ) for the cruise leaving Montreal on Sept. 17th to Boston?

  42. Ken August 27, 2022 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Departing Vancouver Sept 18. I plan to use the Switch Healh telehealth platform supervised home test, used by many airlines such as Air Canada 24 Hours prior to departure. Does this meet Holland America’s medically supervised requirements?


  43. Jerry August 27, 2022 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    I traveled to Alaska for a 7 day HAL cruise on August 13. The day after the cruise ended, we started testing positive for Covid. 6 out of 7 in our party(all vaccinated) tested positive within 3 days of cruise ending. The only way not to get Covid on a cruise is to never leave your cabin and live with a mask on. We suspect we got it during the shore excursions where passengers mixed with the general public and other tourists. Encouraging the unvaccinated to cruise is a disaster waiting to happen.

  44. Tony Clark August 27, 2022 at 11:50 am - Reply

    We are embarking on a cruise with Holland America from Vancouver to Alaska for seven nights. Our travel agent Trailfinders we’re unaware of this Covid policy change and are still advising that we purchase expensive tests as a prerequisite to embarkation. PLEASE CLARIFY YOUR REQUIREMENTS!

  45. Mary Holland August 26, 2022 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    A medically supervised Covid 19 test. Does this include the Antigen Test.
    Within 3 days before sailing. Does that mean 36 hrs. before departure anytime time before sailing?
    These time situations are confusing. Was two days before.

  46. Daniel Curlis August 24, 2022 at 5:06 am - Reply

    I am departing Barcelona Spain on 16 Sept 2022.
    What Covid test is required? Is a medically supervised Rapid Antigen test sufficient?

  47. Christine Wright August 23, 2022 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Can you tell me if you are providing anti viral pills on board youe Ships, in the event we catch covid

  48. Marty Harris August 22, 2022 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Glad to hear the good news that requirements are easing up. The one thing that does not make sense to me is the fact that unvaccinated guests have to get a Covid test prior to cruise and vaccinated guests do not. Since both vaccinated and unvaccinated folks are susceptible to getting covid, does that mean that if I show proof of vaccination but still end up having covid on departure day, you guys will still let me board? Just wondering.

  49. Christine August 21, 2022 at 8:28 am - Reply

    Why o why did you change your health policies again ? It doesn’t make sense.

  50. Miriam Coffey August 20, 2022 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    My colleagues and i took your Alaska 7 day cruise leaving the 30th of July from Seattle. We were attending a conference as nurses.
    5 of the 8 in our group (spouses/family) contracted covid, 3 of us are nurses who have worked with covid patients over the past 3 years and not contracted covid up until the cruise. Two of us developed symptoms within a couple of days, the other 3 near the end of the cruise.
    I think the cruise did a good job overall with preventative measures but I think it is a mistake to lessen the testing requirements and in fact I would suggest signage suggesting social distancing when reasonable to do so (in the gym people several times chose a machine right next to me rather than one further away) and requiring masking in larger groups.

  51. Christine August 20, 2022 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Thank You HA for simplified Covid restrictions

  52. Audrey Dol August 20, 2022 at 11:24 am - Reply

    So glad you are letting the unvaccinated cruise again, I have very much missed our cruising days these past two years.

  53. Beryl Young August 20, 2022 at 12:56 am - Reply

    Q: What is the email address for the company that you have contracted with to give HAL approved Covid tests? It is not in the Travel Well info.

  54. Rick August 18, 2022 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Little confused, doing cruise Sept 10 th to Alaska, departing Vancouver. Have had 3 Covid shots. What are our covid requirements?

  55. Marc Bard August 18, 2022 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    If I read correctly, vaccinated guests must simply provide evidence of vaccination status prior to embarkation. Pre-cruise testing is no longer required.

  56. Lisa August 16, 2022 at 7:20 am - Reply

    That’s great news, but not for us as our Canada cruise leaves just days ahead of Sept 2nd.

  57. Mrs Pauline Lucarz August 16, 2022 at 2:33 am - Reply

    We are doing a (back to back) 10 and 11 day cruise in November, 21 day total. Which will apply?

  58. Bill Mautner August 15, 2022 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    What about Oct 2-15, 2022 Amsterdam to Rotterdam pre testing for fully vacinated..
    Cruising Scandavina

  59. Brenda Howard August 15, 2022 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Bravo! Thank you for keeping up with the covid times!
    We will be cruising with you in October!

  60. Raymond Brittingham August 15, 2022 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    We will be guest on the Rotterdam cruise departing Amsterdam on the 2nd October 2022, 28 nights, transatlantic disembarking in Fort Lauderdale. I have written three emails to guest relations, reservations and Mariner Society, requesting a more specific advice as to the testing protocol required from us and have had no response and all the information posted does not give us clarity that we require. We will be departing Melbourne, Australia on the 30 September 2022, and do not require a test to depart from here nor do we require to provide proof of negative test to enter Amsterdam. Everything we read is ambiguous, including current information posted on this site today, tells us nothing, everything relates to sailings from the USA. Somebody please help, so that we are informed and have time to follow the protocol required.

  61. Jessica August 15, 2022 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    If my cruise originates and ends in Italy but has stops in Greece on the itinerary, am I still subject to pre-cruise testing? Or is testing only required for cruisers that embark in Greece?

  62. Susan Ewing Mellups August 15, 2022 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    I’m disappointed because I only do transatlantics and it is incredibly stressful to commit to airfares, hotels and cruisefare that might be cancelled by a positive test. For example we fly from BWI to FLL and spend an overnight in Florida (at least).
    We’ve had 4 vaccinations and happily never tested + only to test + after ten days on a cruise: Then quarantined off ship without any symptoms. A nightmare and now facing pages of paperwork for insurance companies.
    I hope that someday this can be worked out because a negative test clearly is meaningless because somewhere on the ship is a + person.

  63. Pam clark August 15, 2022 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    We leave Sept 4 from Venice on a Holland America cruise, will we need a Covid test? I see Sept 6 is the date the requirements will be lifted but we have had all of our vaccines.

  64. Jeanne Baker August 15, 2022 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    I’m on a Grand Voyage in October. I see no reason to pre Covid test when we are fully vaccinated and have had 2 booster shots.

    We are at sea for 7 days before we stop at any port.
    What is the point

  65. Mary August 15, 2022 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Was there any change to testing for the land portion of cruise tours? This was never required by any government, is there a change. Thank you

  66. Reuven Lask August 15, 2022 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Unvaccinated guests are welcomed aboard and must provide results of a negative medically supervised or self-test taken within three ….

    This is a joke: “self-test taken …..”

  67. Harry August 15, 2022 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    We are on a “back to back” cruise to Scandinavia on the MS Rotterdam departing Amsterdam on the 25th Sept. Then returning to Amsterdam after 7 days and again same ship departing Amsterdam for a 13 day cruise disembarking on completion in the port of Rotterdam

    Question do we require a Covid 19 test prior to boarding ??

  68. Janice Wege August 15, 2022 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    So, for a cruise over 15 days, (I’m on the 28 day. Rotterdam transatlantic) I can take the Antigen Test, and do NOT have to take a PCR Test, is that correct?

  69. Robert Deffenbaugh August 15, 2022 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    How do I get an exemption? Who provides this service? What about flying into Italy for a trans-Atlantic crossing?

  70. Melinda Killmer August 15, 2022 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    I am disappointed to read this new Covid protocol. Although not publicized, there are still many cases and deaths. On board ship there will not be a feeling of being somewhat safe. We are so looking forward to out partial transit of the Panama Canal. When out son learned of our cruise he immediately signed up to join us. Incidentally we are 4 star Mariners, but have not traveled since the very beginning of Covid.

  71. Russell Skals August 15, 2022 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    i’m on a 15 day cruise on Holland American before i board for a 35 day cruise with Holland American off on same day what test will i need and how can i get it?

  72. Maria de Graaf August 15, 2022 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Kan ik de tekst over covid19 in het Nederlands krijgen?

  73. Mary August 15, 2022 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Can you get off the ships in port if not vaccinated?

  74. Kathryn liescheidt August 15, 2022 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I leave from Canada sept 24 fir 8 days. What are my Covid rules?

  75. Daniel Baker August 15, 2022 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    I have to say, I am very disappointed in these changes for HAL. I am fortunate that my next two trips are both 16 days long, so this won’t immediately impact.

    My biggest complaint is that unvaccinated guests can just provide a *self-test* to board, not required to have a medically supervised test. Supervised tests are still relatively easy to obtain a drugstores and via telehealth services.

    I hope for the best in this experiment by HAL and other cruise lines. I feel the most worried for your crew (esp cabin stewards) who will be in and out of unvaccinated guests rooms constantly.

  76. Richard Quesnel August 15, 2022 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Thank You very much. This will take pressure off our shoulder since we are doing the 15 nights TransAtlantic in October 2022. We will be in Amsterdam at least 4 days prior for visiting the City. Very happy with this decision.

  77. Carpenter Judy August 15, 2022 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Self administered rapid tests are a mistake most people do not do them correctly plus you can get negative rapid tests several times in a row but the PCR will be positive. If I were traveling with those protocols I would be wearing a N95 in all public spaces and doing routine testing while on board I would not feel safe

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