Costa Cruises Simplifies Protocols for Upcoming Sailings

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Costa Cruises will be removing the need for a negative test result by fully-vaccinated individuals for all voyages departing on October 8 and beyond. The Carnival-owned cruise brand is also implementing further relaxed protocols throughout the fleet.

The new measures are in place mainly for voyages in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and the United Arab Emirates. For longer voyages, Costa maintains stricter measures than many other cruise lines. 

Relaxed Measures for Costa Cruises This Fall and Winter

Guests cruising onboard the Costa Cruise ships this fall and winter in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and the United Arab Emirates, will have a more accessible, stress-free experience to get onboard.

As a guideline, starting October 8, guests that have been fully vaccinated will no longer need to provide proof of a negative test.

Guests that have not been fully vaccinated will then be allowed to sail as long as they provide evidence of a negative antigen test result. However, there will be some differences for each destination the Costa Cruises ships sail to.

Costa Cruise Ships
Photo Credit: Alina Vaska /

The new protocols come on top of the earlier changes to onboard protocols that the cruise line implemented in Spring when the company removed restrictions on onboard activities and lounges and the need for booking a shore excursion to go ashore. 

Mediterranean & Caribbean Cruises

Guests sailing on a Mediterranean cruise or Caribbean cruise this winter with Costa, with proof of full vaccination and booster, or full vaccination and recovery certificate, will not be required to show evidence of a negative test result before sailing. 

Those who have not been vaccinated will need proof of a negative antigen test or PCR-RT test taken within 48 hours of sailing. 

These protocols do not apply to voyages with a call in Greece. These cruises will only be accessible to fully vaccinated guests who have undergone antigen testing with a negative result within 48 hours of embarkation.

For Mediterranean cruises, which include a call to Morocco, guests not fully vaccinated will be required to undergo RT-PCR testing onboard 48 hours before arrival. 

Costa Venezia Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock

There is also a restriction for cruises in the Caribbean. Shore leave in Barbados, St. Vincent, and St. Maarten is only allowed for unvaccinated guests if they can show a negative result of an antigen test taken within 24 or 48 hours before the ship’s arrival at the destination. 

Onboard testing is available for both Antigen and RT-PCR methods. While Costa Cruises does not provide a specific cost price for these tests, it does mention there will be a charge. 

Other Destinations

With the Costa Cruise ships fanning out across the globe again this fall and winter, there will be many different protocols as the cruise line tries to keep up with global changes. 

Cruises in the UAE, Oman, and Qatar are available only to fully vaccinated guests. However, there is no need for pre-embarkation testing.

For any cruises longer than 14 days, which includes World Cruises, transatlantic cruises, and voyages around South America, all guests must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of an antigen test with a negative result within 48 hours of embarkation time.

In addition, mask use on board will be mandatory in public areas during the first seven days of the cruise, while in other destinations (Mediterranean, Caribbean, UAE), mask use is simply recommended.

Costa has been in the news recently due to several changes in its fleet. Carnival Corporation announced earlier this year that three ships in the Costa fleet would be transferred to Carnival Cruise Line, under the Costa by Carnival name. These include Costa Venezia, Costa Firenze, and Costa Luminosa.

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