Following a similar move made recently by the popular Caribbean destination of St. Kitts, the Cayman Islands have now dropped all pandemic-related restrictions for travelers.
This continues the trend of more destinations opening fully for cruise ship visits, and allows greater itinerary options for cruise travel planning.
Cayman Islands Ends All Travel Restrictions
In an announcement to the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism webpage, the nation has announced the ending of all pandemic-related travel restrictions.
“Effective August 24, 2022, all travelers—vaccinated and unvaccinated—are permitted to enter the Cayman Islands without the need of any additional documents or health-related steps due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the announcement reads.
The statement goes on to clarify that travelers will no longer need to apply for any sort of travel declaration or other visit request, present any sort of negative COVID-19 test result, provide proof of any sort of vaccination, or wear masks.
For the last few days before August 24, travelers will need to follow existing protocols. It should be noted, however, that the protocols for cruise travelers are somewhat different than for visitors arriving in the Cayman Islands in other ways, such as on private boats or via airlines.
Cruise travelers prior to August 24, 2022, must be fully vaccinated to visit the Cayman Islands, though a booster shot is not required.
Unvaccinated guests are not permitted to disembark at the port, with the exception of children under the age of 12 accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult. Pre-arrival testing for cruise passengers is no longer required to visit the country.
What This Means for Cruise Travel
This new relaxation, particularly permitting non-vaccinated cruise guests to debark in the Cayman Islands and enjoy all the tropical paradise the country has to offer, is great news not only for eager travelers, but for cruise lines as well.
With the ability to include unvaccinated guests in visits to the popular port of call, more cruise lines may be willing to develop Caribbean itineraries that include Grand Cayman.
Prior to the pandemic and how radically cruise travel was changed, Grand Cayman was one of the top five most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean, with more than 1.7 million cruise passengers visiting annually. This also makes the destination of the top 15 busiest cruise ports in the world by passenger visits.
Throughout the pandemic, the Cayman Islands have been very cautious about their response to tourism, particularly cruise ships, and the port was one of the last to reopen to regular visits.
While cruising restarted in the Caribbean in July 2021, it wasn’t until March 31, 2022 – less than five months ago – that Grand Cayman welcomed cruise ships again, when Disney Magic became the first cruise ship to call on the port in more than two years.
A number of earlier visits in late 2021 and early 2021 had been canceled as the country continued to uphold stricter travel guidelines.
Now, Grand Cayman is expecting visits from multiple ships from Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and Celebrity Cruises in the next few weeks.