Another Cruise Line Relaxes its Protocols for Testing and Masks

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As of August 26, 2022, Celestyal Cruises will further ease its cruise protocols for all of its sailings, adding that masks will no longer be a mandatory requirement onboard.

Although guests 12 and over must continue to be fully vaccinated, guests will now have more time to pre-cruise test. The line will now accept antigen tests taken within 48 hours and PCR tests taken no more than 72 hours prior to embarkation.

Celestyal Cruises Eases Travel Requirements

Following the recent trend amongst major cruise liners, Greece-based Celestyal Cruises released on Wednesday that it will ease its current travel protocols, no longer requiring masks onboard, previously required for all indoor areas.

As the number one choice for those traveling the Greek Islands and Eastern Mediterranean, the cruise line will continue to require guests over 11 years of age to be fully vaccinated; however, Celestyal’s pre-cruise testing timeframe has been relaxed further for added convenience.

Previously, guests were required to test within 24 hours of embarkation. For sailings beginning August 26, 2022, all guests will need to have a negative COVID antigen test result or a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of embarkation at hand to board.

Celestyal Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Nadezda Stoyanova / Shutterstock

Celestyal Cruises’ Chief Commercial Officer, Leslie Peden shared, “In accordance with updated guidelines from the European Healthy Gateways, CLIA and Greek health authorities, we are pleased to announce the further relaxation of our health protocols.”

“The more flexible requirements provide our guests with the option of testing prior to departing for Greece as well as more flexibility when it comes to masking onboard. We will continue to liaise with the European Healthy Gateways, CLIA and Greek health authorities, as well as all destinations we visit on our cruises to ensure that we are in compliance with all of the latest health protocols with the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve continuing to be our top priority,” he added.

The line will now accept an EU DCC (Digital Covid Certificate) for citizens of EU countries and countries participating in the EU DCC scheme.

Additionally, guests from countries not participating in the DCC scheme, such as the USA, Canada, and Mexico, that have recently recovered from COVID, can provide a doctor’s note with the positive test result and corresponding date positively diagnosed, including the negative test result with recovery date. 

Fully vaccinated guests over 17 years old will need proof of a booster, if their vaccine sequence was completed more than 270 days prior to embarkation.

The History Behind Celestyal Cruises 

Formed in 2014, Celestyal Cruises was a previous subsidiary of Louis plc, the first travel agency in Cyprus founded in 1963, and in November 2021, Searchlight Capital Partners took a majority share within the line.

The cruise line suspended all cruises on March 13, 2020, due to the global pandemic, and resumed cruising in June 2021 with its Idyllic Aegean itinerary.

In June 2021, a second ship was added to the fleet, Celestyal Olympia, but in August 2021, it was announced the ship would stop cruises at the end of the month.

Read Also: Royal Caribbean Unveils Plan to Rollout Starlink Fleetwide

Currently, the line operates two vessels, 37,584 gross-ton Celestyal Olympia and 14,330 gross-ton Celestyal Crystal, out of the popular travel destination, Athens, Greece. Its ships are medium-sized, with the ability to visit ports that larger vessels may not have access to.

Previously sailing Cuba for five seasons, offerings of the fleet currently include three, four, and seven-night itinerary options exploring unique destinations around the Greek Island, Turkey, and the Eastern Mediterranean.

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