Barbados Simplifies Cruise Protocols

Norwegian and Carnival ships in Barbados

The island of Barbados has announced its port entry protocols that are meant to simplify destination exploration in a safe and responsible way through tours and shore excursions beyond the cruise ship.

In keeping with updated guidelines put forth by Barbados’ Ministry of Health and Wellness, the following protocols have been shared, according to Barbados' official tourism marketing organization, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc:

Embarkation: The Barbados Ministry of Health and Wellness requires each cruise line to conduct health assessments of travelers prior to embarkation, which includes questions to identify symptoms that indicate a traveler’s health status.

Transit Calls and Shore Excursions: Guests with a standard or rapid PCR test taken within three days of arrival will be permitted to disembark and take free shore leave, explore independently and engage in shore excursions and tours. Guests arriving without a standard or rapid PCR test taken within 48 hours will be permitted to take “bubble excursions” or supervised shore excursions through authorized vendors, including:

• Tours approved for sale by tour operators as authorized by cruise lines.
• Tours approved for sale by independent tour operators and taxi operators as authorized by the government of Barbados following the appropriate health and security requirements.

Those wishing to engage in a tour must have a pre-booked tour confirmed by email from an approved tour operator for pick-up in the Bridgetown Port or take approved taxis dispatched from secure designated taxi facilities within the Bridgetown Port. Tours and excursions can be booked either on arrival at the port or directly with independent tour operators.

Transit calls refer to ports of call where passengers disembark to sightsee, then return to the ship, which then departs for its next destination.

Disembarkation (Island Stays): Guests disembarking and staying on-island for a post-cruise stay will be required to present a negative standard or rapid PCR test before unrestricted access to the destination is permitted. Post-cruise guests may be swabbed onboard their cruise ship or at the Bridgetown Port and may then proceed to their accommodations to await test results. If available, guests may proceed directly to their accommodations to be tested there and await the results.

Vaccination Status: Travelers will be considered fully vaccinated if they have completed a full regimen of vaccines for any of the Ministry of Health and Wellness approved COVID-19 vaccinations, at least 14 days prior to travel to Barbados. Approved vaccines are AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik V.

According to the press release, Barbados welcomes approximately 800,000 cruise visitors annually and welcomes more than 25 cruise lines including Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and Princess Cruises.

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc said that this simple process will give travel advisors “yet another reason to recommend the island to their clients, providing yet another safe, unforgettable vacation destination that helps drive leads, bookings and revenue in the new year.”

Travel advisors are encouraged to brief clients on these protocols during the booking process.

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