Celebrity Cruises ditches COVID-19 vaccination rule for Europe and US, but not New Zealand

Celebrity Reflection is the fifth, final, and largest Solstice-class cruise ship.
Celebrity Reflection is the fifth, final, and largest Solstice-class cruise ship. Photo credit: Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises is abandoning its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all passengers on most Europe and US sailings from September 5.

However, sailings to or from countries like Aotearoa where governments continue to enforce vaccination rules will still require customers to be vaccinated.

COVID-19 testing rules have also been relaxed on many of the company's international routes.

"A new world is waiting and I'm thrilled to now more closely align our operations with the rest of the travel industry and open up opportunities for everyone to explore, once again," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises.

"Travel is making its grand comeback and we're looking forward to the continued momentum from consumers around the world."

Unvaccinated people wanting to travel with Celebrity Cruises from the US or Europe will simply need to provide a negative test result from an unsupervised, self-administered COVID-19 test.

Children don't even need to provide a negative test result if they're under 12 sailing from Europe, or under 5 sailing from the US.

But until further notice, sailings to and from ports in New Zealand, Australia and Canada require all guests ages 12 and up to be fully vaccinated to sail in keeping with country requirements. Galapagos cruises are even stricter, with anyone aged 3 and older required to be vaccinated.

For sailings from the US that are nine nights or less and not to Canada or Bermuda, vaccinated Celebrity Cruises customers can travel with proof of vaccination only, without the need of a negative test result.

Earlier this month, the first international cruise liner in more than two years entered Aotearoa waters. It was welcomed as a major milestone for an industry severely hurt by the pandemic.