What We Know: When Popular Cruise Destinations & Ports Will Reopen

Details of when ports and destinations will reopen to international travelers - Photo by Canva

In March, many destinations around the world closed their borders to international travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this came the closure of cruise ports and an overall halt to most of the travel industry. As many nations begin to look forward to reopening, many countries have announced timing and regulations for foreign travel to resume.

As we all look ahead to when cruise lines plan on resuming sailings, the questions still lingering are — when will ships be allowed to sail? When are ports opening? We’ve gathered the most up-to-date information on when top cruising destinations and ports around the world opened (or will be opening) to travelers from outside the country, and what kind of precautionary measures visitors must take to enter these countries.

Note: This information is subject to change pending updates from any country or regional mandates. We encourage you to check with your cruise line for updates on measures needed to be taken before entering any of these countries for travel. Latest Update: July 30, 2020. 

North American Ports & Destinations

  • Bar Harbor, Maine - The town of Bar Harbor announced in July that it would be banning all cruise ship visits into its port through the remainder of 2020. 
  • Canada - Canada has banned medium and large-sized cruise ships through October 31, 2020. The ban covers ships in Canadian waters carrying more than 100 people and offering overnight accommodations. This order is set to expire on November 1 by the Canadian government. The US border with Canada is closed through August 21, 2020. 
  • Florida - Following CLIA’s extension of the suspension of operations from U.S. ports until September 15, 2020, all of Florida’s ports(Port of Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, Port of Jacksonville, and Tampa Bay Port) remain closed for passenger cruise travel. 
  • Hawaii - According to the Hawaii State Department of Transportation, all harbors and airports in the state remain operational. The department’s website states that “Cruise ships have temporarily suspended operations in Hawaii including Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Viking Cruises and Disney Cruise Line.”  Further details have not been given regarding ships sailing out of Hawaii when lines begin resuming cruising. 
  • Key West - The Florida Keys is open to visitors. Throughout the Florida Keys, officials are requiring facial coverings to be worn by everyone in business establishments and other public settings. No date or local regulations have been made regarding cruise travel to the area.
  • Mexico - The US and Mexico border remain closed through August 21. International travelers can travel to select Mexico beaches by plane. Borders are currently closed to all international travelers arriving by cruise ship.
    • On June 8, the Caribe Mexicano (home to Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel, and Riviera Maya) reopened for international travelers traveling by air. Incoming visitors may be subject to health screenings upon arrival to the country, including temperature checks. 
    • On the Pacific side of Mexico, the Baja California Sur area (including Los Cabos) reopened to international travelers arriving by air on June 15. Also on this side of the country, Mazatlan reopened to international air travelers on July 1. Mazatlan was awarded the WTTC’s ‘Safe Travels’ certification, verifying its adherence to a globally-recognized set of health and safety standards. 

Caribbean and South American Ports & Destinations

  • ABC Islands:
    • Aruba - Aruba officially reopened for inbound air travel on July 1, and opened on July 10 to U.S. visitors. Aruba has made no announcements regarding cruise passengers, however air travelers to the country must take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure or pre-pay for a PCR test upon arrival and quarantining for up to 24 hours waiting for results.
    • Bonaire - Bonaire Tourism announced that as of July 1st, 2020, travelers from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg can return to Bonaire. A maximum of 1,000 tourists is admitted per week. Bonaire has yet to announce details for US travelers and cruise lines. 
    • Curaçao - As of July 1, travelers from France, Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy can travel to Curaçao. The country requires a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before entering the country. Like Bonaire, Curaçao has not announced when US travelers and cruise ships can return to the island. 
  • Antigua and Barbuda - The Government of Antigua and Barbuda opened to international travel on July 9. Passengers arriving by sea (private yachts/ferry services) are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by the Port Health department. All arriving passengers from outside the country must wear a face mask upon disembarkation and in all public areas. 
  • The Bahamas - The Bahamas announced that it would ban U.S. travelers from entering its borders effective July 22, 2020. Initially, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation announced the country would reopen to foreign tourists (with the exception of travelers from China, Italy, France, and Iran) on July 1, 2020. As of now, the country is allowing international flights from the UK, EU countries, and Canada. Visitors are required to complete an electronic health visa upon entering the country and must have a negative COVID-19 test result taken within the past 10 days. 
  • Belize - The country of Belize will be reopening on August 15 to international travelers. The Belize Tourism Board requires passengers to come with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72-hours before departure or undergo testing on arrival. 
  • Bermuda - As of July 1, Bermuda is open for travelers visiting by air. All visitors must have the results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72-hours upon arrival. All travelers must fill out an online Bermuda travel authorization form before arriving. There is no set date as to when cruise ships will be allowed to return to the country.
  • British Virgin Islands (Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, and Virgin Gorda) - The BVI’s opened their borders to returning residents on June 2. Non-resident visitors are not expected to be permitted to visit the BVI by September 1 at the earliest. No ships are scheduled to arrive in the country before this time. 
  • Dominican Republic - On July 1, the Dominican Republic opened back up all of its regions to international travel. No announcement has been made in regards to cruise travel to the area at this time. Passengers flying into the Dominican Republic must report on a Health Affidavit Form that they have felt no COVID-19 symptoms for 72 hours and are subject to a temperature check upon arrival. 
  • Grand Cayman - Most recently, Visit Cayman Islands announced that all airports in the Cayman Islands will remain closed to international leisure and non-essential travel through August 31, 2020. Official decisions regarding border openings continue to be reviewed by the Cayman Islands Government. 
  • Jamaica - Jamaica reopened to foreign travel on June 15. Travelers will have to submit a pre-travel health authorization and are subject to thermal temperature checks upon arrival. Additionally, visitors are expected to adhere to all social distancing and face mask regulations in public while visiting the country. Effective July 10, all travelers from Florida, Texas, New York, and Arizona must upload the results of a negative COVID-19 test not older than ten days before the date of travel to the Visit Jamaica website for approval to enter the country. 
  • Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico formally reopened for tourism on July 15. Upon arrival by air, the Puerto Rico Health Department stipulates that travelers will have to present the results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours or be tested on-site. All ports are currently closed for cruise ships in Puerto Rico. 
  • St. Barts - The island of St. Barts reopened to international travelers in June. As of July 10, international visitors are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result, taken within 72-hours of arrival.
  • St. Lucia - St. Lucia reopened on June 4 to foreign travelers. Once in the country, visitors will go through temperature checks and are required to wear a face mask in public spaces, according to the St. Lucia Tourism Authority. Beginning July 9, passengers arriving from outside St. Lucia must provide the results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within seven days of arrival.
  • St. Maarten - After closing to visitors in March, St. Maarten opened its borders to Canadian and European travelers on July 1. Flights from the US are slated to resume on August 1, 2020. No specific information has been provided by the country for the resumption of cruise ship travel, however, passengers arriving by air are subject to temperature checks and negative COVID-19 test results from at least 72-hours prior to arrival. 
  • U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John) - The U.S. Virgin Islands reopened to visitors on June 1, 2020. All U.S. Virgin Islands follow CDC guidelines and have yet to introduce cruise ship return protocols. 

European Ports & Destinations

  • The European Union opened to visitors on July 1, following months of pandemic-related travel closures. As of now, the United States is among one of the countries listed by the EU that falls under this travel ban, not allowing tourist entry into any of its countries. 
  • On June 30, the European Union released guidelines on the safe resumption of cruise lines following suspensions. These new measures cover suggested changes to reduced ship capacity, onboard separation by age groups, hygiene and disinfection measures, and stipulate that cruise lines could consider testing all passengers. To read more on these guidelines, visit the European Union Announces Guidelines for the Return of Cruising.
  • Spain - Home to one of the world’s largest cruise ports in Barcelona, Spain reopened their borders to international travelers on June 21. However, the country announced it would be extending an indefinite ban on cruise ships to both its mainland and islands. 
  • Norway - In June, Norway became the first country to reopen ocean cruising with the resumption of Hurtigruten’s Finnmarken departing from Bergen on an 11-night voyage up the coast to Kirkenes and back, as well as a sailing of SeaDream YachtClub departing from Oslo. At this time U.S. travelers are not allowed to visit Norway due to EU restrictions.

Read More: What to Expect on Your First Cruise Post COVID-19

What is the first port that you hope to visit when cruising resumes?

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