Note: For Nov. 2021 sailing only. Jan. 2022 protocols are still TBA.
Updated Sept. 23, 2021
Will all passengers need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to board?
Please be advised that the 2021 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 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 email@example.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 partnered with Quest Diagnostics to provide over 1,500 locations in the United States to schedule a no-cost* COVID-19 test appointment, with results delivered within 48 hours. Click here to find a testing location near you. You can also contact your nearest health center, pharmacy, state health department, or transiting airport to learn more about their availability for COVID-19 testing. LRBC representatives cannot assist in recommending specific facilities or assisting with appointments.
*The 2-day period is considered 2 days before your cruise’s departure. The 2-day timeframe provides you with more flexibility than a 48-hour timeframe. By using the 2-day window, your test validity does not depend on the time of your embarkation or the time of the day that your test was administered. For example, considering our cruise departure is 5:00 PM on Saturday November 6, you may board with a negative, medically observed, viral COVID-19 test that was administered any time on Thursday, November 4th, or after.
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:
- 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 an additional, 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 to each passenger’s negative results received from their test administered 48 hours 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?
Per Holland America Line: Masks will be optional onboard once we have cleared the prerequisites in the cruise terminal. As a reminder, masks are required during embark and debark in the terminal, and masks should also be worn during the debarkation process on board. We also suggest that any guest wears a mask should they feel uncomfortable at any time. Several destinations have implemented their own requirements and all guests will be required to follow the protocols in each destination we visit. Additionally, when going ashore, guests must be prepared to follow all local guidance regarding masks and physical distancing.
*All Holland America Line guest-facing crew will be masked at all times.
*We’d always recommend guests wash or replace their mask daily and choose a good quality, ideally medical-grade, standard mask. Please note that visors and face shields will not be accepted as a substitute for a face mask.
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?
The LRBC has chosen to sail at no more than 80% capacity for our November 2021 sailing, as we ease back into our restart plan.
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?
Per Holland America Line: Unfortunately, we are unable to accept guests who use supplemental oxygen or are on dialysis at this time for 2021 cruises. This includes guests who use oxygen concentrators. Our medical experts have determined that, for the guest’s own safety, this is the right decision. 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 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.