Gary Hershorn/Getty Images
Norwegian Cruise Line will require all passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding at least through the end of the year.
“Under the guidance of globally recognized public health experts and to prioritize the health and safety of our guests, crew, and the communities we visit, we have decided to extend guest vaccination requirements for all sailings through December 31, 2021,” Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson confirmed to Travel + Leisure on Thursday. “Guests who are not old enough to be vaccinated will not be allowed on these sailings. However, we eagerly await an expansion of the age criteria for vaccinations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so we can once again welcome these guests back on board.
Children younger than 12 are still not yet permitted to receive the vaccine.
Norwegian announced its vaccination mandate in April, requiring that all passengers and crew be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before boarding. At the time, the order was to remain in effect until Oct. 31.
Earlier this month, Norwegian had a win in court when a federal judge ruled that the cruise line was allowed to require proof of vaccination from all passengers after the cruise line had sued Florida’s surgeon general over the state’s ban on vaccine passports. Although several cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, have made vaccines optional in response to the ban, Norwegian has not changed its vaccine-mandatory stance. Cruises that are not vaccine-mandatory may require a COVID-19 test or face masks in order to board.
Norwegian’s first voyage after its pandemic pause set sail from Athens in July. And its first sailing from U.S. waters kicked off Alaska’s tourism season earlier this month.