Carnival Cruise Line has updated its pre-cruise testing protocols for sailings that visit ports of call in Canada, noting that all guests, regardless of whether or not they have received a COVID-19 booster, are required to take a test no sooner than two days prior to sailing.
This policy is different than the testing window for other sailings, which can be longer for guests who are up-to-date on vaccinations.
Pre-Cruise Testing Window Shorter for Canada Visits
Due to Canadian requirements, the pre-cruise COVID-19 test that all cruise travelers must take can be no sooner than two days before embarkation, whether the cruise is embarking from a Canadian port or just visiting Canada during a sailing from a U.S. homeport.
The April 21 update reads: “Fully vaccinated guests traveling to Canada, including those who are up to date with their vaccines, must take their antigen pre-cruise test no earlier than two days prior to sailing, in compliance with Canadian regulations.”
“Fully-vaccinated” is defined as having received the one- or two-dose primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before sailing. Guests are considered “up-to-date” on their vaccinations if they have also received a booster shot when they become eligible for one. There is no delay in being considered “up-to-date” as soon as the booster shot is administered.
For sailings that do not visit Canada, Carnival Cruise Line is permitting guests who are both vaccinated and boosted to extend the pre-cruise testing window to three days before embarkation, which provides greater flexibility for travelers to meet the requirement before arriving at the cruise terminal.
Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald stressed the change that affects Canadian sailings on his Facebook page.
“So regardless of whether you’ve had your booster or not, everyone must test please two days before the cruise again as per the request of the Canadian government,” Heald said. “Thank you so much for your patience with all of this and I will continue to keep you informed.”
Carnival Cruises in Canada
Carnival Cruise Line is poised to have its biggest year ever in Alaska, with three ships sailing itineraries that will include visits to Canadian ports. Carnival Miracle, Carnival Spirit, and Carnival Splendor will all be sailing to Alaska, with all three vessels visiting Victoria, British Columbia on each trip.
“Our expanded program will bring approximately more than 100,000 guests on unforgettable cruise vacations to Alaska this summer from both Seattle and San Francisco with three great ships,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line president, in an earlier press release. “Our three-ship deployment also provides a highly anticipated boost for the economies of these awe-inspiring Alaska ports.”
Carnival Splendor will begin its Alaska season on May 2, with Carnival Spirit and Carnival Miracle quickly following on May 3. As Carnival Splendor sets sail on that first voyage, the full Fun Ship fleet will finally be back in service for the first time since the global cruise shutdown began in March 2020.
Autumn cruises in New England that visit Canadian ports of call will also be subject to Canada’s testing requirements, but as those cruises do not begin for several months, it is far too early to predict how protocols may change before then.
Carnival Magic is currently scheduled for two 7-night fall sailings from New York to Canada, calling in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The sailings depart September 10 and September 17, and both visit the same ports, but in a different order.
Carnival Legend has a single 8-night sailing departing Baltimore on September 3, also visiting New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, as well as Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine.