Official protocols for the January 2022 cruise

Updated Jan. 7, 2022

Will all passengers need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to board?
Please be advised that the January 2022 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise is available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. LRBC is also requiring proof of a COVID-19 approved vaccination for all its artists, musicians, production crew and staff that will be on board. In addition, Holland America Line intends to vaccinate their crew.

Guests who travel internationally should always ensure they understand all entry and airlines requirements to travel from their home country and the destinations they plan to visit, including where health authorities may require pre-travel COVID-19 testing. Details continue to be updated regularly; official websites and apps developed by government agencies and tourism ministries are the recommended resources.


How do I submit proof of vaccination?
Please submit proof of vaccination via your onboard account. Documents must be in a PDF or JPEG format. Each guest will need to access their individual accounts, with their user name and password to upload their own document (one passenger cannot upload for all). 

If you do not remember your user name and password or have not completed your online account, you may reset it here

LRBC Employees also now have the capability to upload proof of vaccination on your behalf. Documents in the form of a PDF or JPEG can be emailed to bluesin@bluescruise.com


Which vaccinations will be acceptable?
Acceptable vaccines are those that have an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or will have received emergency use listing from the World Health Organization (WHO).


What about COVID-19 Boosters if available prior to sailing?
Guests who have received the full series of a US FDA or WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of authorized vaccines and have received your last dose at least 14 days prior to the day of embarkation are considered fully vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccine boosters are not required at this time, nor is a 14 day waiting period after a booster has been administered.


If I am vaccinated, do I need to take a COVID-19 test prior to boarding?
In accordance with CDC directives, ALL guests will be required to produce a negative test result taken within 2 days of their embarkation  For U.S. guests, Holland America Line has partnerships and suggestions to help make pre-travel testing access easier.
 
Holland America has partnered with Optum so that U.S.-based vaccinated guests can order an FDA-authorized at-home antigen test kit, shipped to your door in 3 business days or less. These at-home tests include a personal virtually video-supervised visit with an eMed Certified Guide through telehealth services. These guides will help you properly administer the test and verify the results, within 15 minutes. The lab result report is delivered via email and can be printed or displayed on your mobile device during check-in. Please place your order with enough time to be shipped prior to your boarding. Click here to order your at-home test kit.
By clicking above, you will be re-directed to a third-party vendor site

Another option for COVID-19 testing is through a company called Curative. You will be able to find a location and schedule a service at one of their 10,000 sites. You will get your test at one of their drive-thrus, kiosks, or mobile sites and receive your results digitally in 1-2 days. Please visit https://curative.com
By clicking above, you will be re-directed to a third-party vendor site

Quest Diagnostics is also able to provide over 1,500 locations in the United States with results delivered within 48 hours. Click here to find a testing location near you.
By clicking above, you will be re-directed to a third-party vendor site


What is acceptable proof of my negative COVID-19 test result?
The following formats are acceptable proofs of a negative COVID-19 test: paper negative COVID-19 test results (original only; no photocopies accepted), digital or emailed COVID-19 test results; or record of COVID-19 testing from a healthcare provider including original digital email notification or personal electronic health record.

The negative, medically observed, viral COVID-19 test result must include:

  • Where the test was administered, including information such as the name and contact information for the laboratory or healthcare personnel who performed the test  
  • Type of test (indicating it is a NAAT or antigen test)  
  • A specimen collection date within 2 days before cruise departure  
  • Guest’s name and either date of birth, age, or passport number 

A negative test result using words or phrases including:

  • Negative  
  • Undetectable  
  • SARS-CoV-2 RNA not detected  
  • SARS-CoV-2 antigen not detected  
  • COVID-19 not detected  
  • Not reactive  
  • Test results marked “invalid” are not accepted


Will there be additional COVID-19 testing required for embarkation?
For an additional layer of safety, Holland America Line will also be conducting a secondary, medically approved, Antigen COVID-19 test in the terminal for all guests before boarding. This additional test will be provided free of charge for all passengers and will be mandatory to board the vessel. Test results will be provided in addition toeach passenger’s negative results received from their test administered 2 days prior to departure, not as an alternative.


Can I explore the destinations independently?
PER THE HOLLAND AMERICA LINE WEBSITE: Shore excursions offered by Holland America are strongly encouraged as local officials oversee health and safety standards for these guides. Independent tours or on-your-own exploration are currently permitted, but please be advised that the policy may change on short notice due to revisions in local health restrictions.

While on shore, guests are required to follow local health and safety direction and requirements as advised by tour operators which currently include masks, physical distancing, and enhanced sanitation guidelines.


Will masks be required indoors?
(Jan. 7, 2022 update)

Due to the recent CDC update to masking guidelines on public transportation the following information, taken from Holland America’s website, will be updated for LRBC’s sailing as well:

All guests, ages two and above, are requested to wear masks at all times when indoors, except when eating or drinking or when in their own staterooms and when outdoors if in large gatherings and physical distancing cannot be maintained. As advised by health authorities, guests are recommended to use higher-grade masks indoors (such as surgical or KN95) that have two or more layers, completely cover the nose and mouth, fit snugly against the sides of the face and have a nose wire.

Holland America Line is providing a double-layer cloth mask for each guest on board. Guests may also use their own double-layer cloth or paper medical mask. Face coverings such as bandanas, neck gaiters, and masks with exhaust valves are not allowed.  We always recommend guests wash or replace their mask daily and choose a good quality, ideally medical grade, standard mask (health experts recommend the use of higher-grade masks while indoors such as KN95). Please note that visors and face shields will not be accepted as a substitute for a face mask.  

These new requirements are being implemented to protect our guests and crew while onboard. Several destinations have implemented their own requirements and all guests will be required to follow the protocols in each destination we visit. We expect these requirements will be temporary and we appreciate your cooperation and look forward to welcoming you aboard.


Will dining be the same as previous cruises?
Dining in the Lido Market remains the same, only now the Holland America team will serve you at all times. Line monitors will also manage guest flow.

Dinner reservations can now be made for the dining room. For reservations, dial 88 onboard.  Deck 3 of the dining room will be allocated for those with reservations. Deck 2 of the dining room will be available for walk-ins from 5:30pm-9:30pm.

Specialty dining remains the same. 


Will onboard capacity be restricted?
Capacity will be restricted to approximately 55% occupancy for our January 2022 sailing. October 2022 and January 2023 are expected to sail at full capacity.


What happens if I test positive in the terminal prior to boarding?
If a passenger tests positive in the terminal, the positive passenger and their traveling companion(s) will be offered a future cruise credit for an upcoming LRBC sailing. Any expenses incurred for flight changes, quarantine facilities, etc. would be guest’s responsibility. Travel insurance is highly recommended.


What other health and safety protocols will be in place?
PER THE HOLLAND AMERICA LINE WEBSITE: Guests will be encouraged to use hand-washing sinks and hand sanitizer dispensers at venue entrances and in high-traffic areas throughout the ship. Public areas and staterooms will be thoroughly and frequently cleaned using a safe disinfectant proven to kill coronaviruses. Ships will have enhanced air filtration with a combination of increased fresh air and upgraded HVAC units with MERV13 (F7) filters throughout. Medical centers will be equipped with COVID appropriate testing and treatment capabilities. Onboard Medical Centers will have HEPA filtration. We will promptly communicate to our guests any additional information we receive from the cruise line pertaining to health and safety protocols. Additional health and safety guidelines will be available on board and through the Holland America Line Navigator App.


I require oxygen or dialysis. Can I sail?
As our restart protocols continue to evolve, we are lifting the moratorium on oxygen concentrators effective immediately.While we welcome guests who use oxygen concentrators, we are currently unable to accept guests who use oxygen tanks or are on dialysis for cruises through March 2022. We remain optimistic that our approach on future sailings will become more flexible. 


If my home country requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test result for re-entry following my cruise, will Holland America Line administer and cover the cost of the test?
Yes, if a negative COVID-19 test is required for re-entry into your home country, Holland America Line will cover the costs of a COVID-19 test administered onboard the ship or through a rapid test in the terminal within the timeframe required prior to travel and prior to the end of the voyage.  Guests will receive a copy of the test result.  Guests are encouraged to review their home country’s health authority and travel websites to understand the latest guidance on required testing and timing for return travel.