Bermuda's testing requirements for passengers have sparked adjustments in cruise lines' itineraries.
A pair of cruise lines have canceled stops in Bermuda due to the island’s COVID-19 testing policy for longer cruises.
Both Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have canceled port calls to Bermuda for select sailings, the companies confirmed to Travel + Leisure. The change in schedule is due to the fact Bermuda requires all passengers undergo a supervised PCR or rapid antigen test within two days of disembarking in Bermuda if the island is not the first stop or if the ship takes longer than four days to arrive from its embarkation port, according to the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
The island maintains different rules for shorter cruises, instead requiring fully vaccinated passengers undergo either a PCR test within four days of embarkation or a supervised rapid antigen test within two days of embarkation. Unvaccinated passengers who are 11 years old or younger must undergo a PCR test within four days of embarking on a sailing.
For its part, Celebrity has canceled stops on the island during four of its transatlantic sailings. Other cruises that begin in Bermuda will continue to stop there.
“We will continue to visit Bermuda with other itineraries where the island is the first port of call and doesn't trigger the additional testing requirement,” a spokesperson for Celebrity told T+L.
Norwegian has also removed Bermuda as a port of call on at least three separate sailings: aboard the Norwegian Escape from Nov. 1 to 17, aboard the Norwegian Sun from Nov. 3 to 21, and aboard the Norwegian Gem from Dec. 8 to 22.
“We always strive to deliver an exceptional experience both onboard and onshore,” a spokesperson for Norwegian told T+L. “Given the complexity of travel requirements in some destinations such as Bermuda, we have modified a few itineraries to ensure a more seamless voyage for our guests… Despite these changes, we remain fully committed to Bermuda. In fact, we continue to offer voyages during which Bermuda is the one and only port of call. We appreciate the understanding and support of our guests.”
A representative for the Bermuda Tourism Authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment from T+L.
In general, Bermuda requires all cruise passengers 12 and older be vaccinated to land.
Several cruise lines have also loosened their vaccination and testing policies, but carved out exceptions for cruises that visit Bermuda.