Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Norwegian Cruise scraps Covid testing for UAE voyages

Boat, Vehicle, Transportation REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
US Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings cruise ship Marina arrives at the Havana bay, Cuba March 9, 2017

Passengers boarding Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ships won’t have to take Covid-19 tests from next month unless required by local law, the US cruise operator said on Wednesday as the crucial summer sailing season gathers steam.

Cruises setting sail from the United States, Canada or Greece’s Piraeus will still require pre-cruise Covid testing, and all of the company’s guests aged 12 and above have to be fully vaccinated.

The decision comes as several countries lift testing requirements for incoming international air travelers, with people now living with the coronavirus and returning to old routines across the globe.

Norwegian Cruise, the parent of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, runs ships departing from several countries including the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, New Zealand and Sweden.

Last week, rival Carnival Corp’s Holland America Line said guests on three voyages departing from Amsterdam and traveling to Norway would not need to undergo pre-cruise Covid testing or provide a negative test result at embarkation.

Royal Caribbean Group said on Wednesday it is not making any changes to its pre-departure testing requirement for the time being.

Shares in Norwegian Cruise declined 9.4 percent, while Royal Caribbean and Carnival lost 5.9 percent and 6.5 percent as wider US markets retreated ahead of minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting.