What to Expect in Italy

What to Expect in Italy

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Inspiring and invigorating in equal measure, Italy holds a special place in the hearts of many here at Azamara, and we’re so excited to be returning there once again with you.

After our successful return to Greece earlier this year, we’re looking forward to smooth sailing through Italy. While things are still a little different than they once were, there is much that will never change — including our commitment to your health and safety while still providing the same unforgettable Azamara experience you’ve come to expect. Here, we’ll discuss how we plan to maintain the highest health and safety standards aboard our ships during our upcoming voyages in Italy. We’ll also share what you should expect when exploring Bel Paese (the beautiful country).

Traveling to Italy with Azamara in 2021 

View of the houses and buildings in Naples, Italy during sunset

There’s an atmosphere of excitement in Italy these days as travelers return to take in her iconic sights and sounds and sample some of the world’s finest cuisine. The ability to do this is thanks to the country’s robust health and safety measures. Currenty, Azamara requires all crew and guests ages 12 and older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with your full dosage administered at least 14 days before sailing. Starting March 1st, 2022, all guests must be vaccinated in order to sail with Azamara. You’ll need to provide the original vaccination record document issued to you by your country’s health authority or healthcare provider for validation by the European Medicines Agency upon arrival.

Note: We do our best to keep you up to date, but we recommend checking government websites for confirmation on the latest travel requirements as protocols are always evolving.

Question: What is Azamara's Vaccination Policy?

Answer: Currently, guests 12 and older must be fully vaccinated no later than 14 days prior to departure. Starting March 1st, all guests must be vaccinated in order to sail with Azamara. 

Question: Which vaccines are accepted?

Answer:  Following CDC guidelines, Azamara will consider you fully vaccinated with proof of vaccination that can include:

  • Two doses of Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines

  • Mixed doses of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines

  • Two doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca

  • Mixed doses that include Oxford/AstraZeneca as long as the AstraZeneca dose is administered first, and then either the Pfizer or Moderna dose within 8-12 weeks 

  • Johnson & Johnson

Question: Does Azamara accept mixed-dose vaccines?

Answer: We accept a mixed vaccination series consisting of doses from different manufacturers, as long as your vaccine series meets the following requirements:

  • Must consist of at least two doses of vaccines that are fully approved or authorized for emergency use by the U.S. FDA or the World Health Organization 
  • The 2 doses must be administered at least 28 days apart
  • The final dose must be completed at least 14 days before sailing

Mixed vaccines may not be accepted at all ports of call. Guests who are vaccinated with a mixed series may not be allowed to go ashore at these ports, or may need to undergo additional testing if they wish to go ashore. 

The Italian government is committed to ensuring safe vacations for eager travelers while also keeping locals protected. Every effort is being made to stay safe, which is evident in Italy’s mask protocols. Masks are required indoors for all travelers over the age of six. In addition, while masks are no longer mandatory outside, they remain prevalent.

Question: I’m not planning to visit any indoor locations during my time ashore. Should I still bring a mask?

Answer: Yes. Currently, you are only allowed to travel ashore in Italy as part of an official Azamara shore excursion. We require all guests to wear masks when joining us on indoor and outdoor shore excursions.  

Italy’s COVID-19 guidelines categorize regions as white (lowest risk), yellow, amber, and red (highest risk). You’ll find most attractions in white regions, including museums, galleries, and historic sites operating normally. That said, you are still required to show proof of vaccination when visiting museums, galleries, entertainment venues, sporting events, and spas. 

Question: What sort of testing will I need to do as part of my cruise to Italy?

Answer: Vaccinated travelers coming from Canada, Japan, and the USA arriving in Italy must present proof of a negative molecular/PCR or antigen swab test conducted within 72 hours before entering the country. If you arrive without a negative test, you must isolate for five days and will be subject to subsequent testing. In addition,  on embarkation day, all guests will take a complimentary antigen test for COVID-19 upon checking in at the terminal, you’ll receive registration details via email before arrival. Before administering the test, one of our testing vendors will register you and provide you with a QR code that you will use again for your debarkation test. 48 hours before debarkation you will take an antigen test conducted by our onboard medical staff. 

Question: Which documents do I need for my cruise to Italy?

Answer: This handy Travel Documents Checklist will help you keep track of your required documents: 

Proof of Vaccination

  • The date of your final vaccination must be at least two weeks before your sail date 

  • Documentation should be your original vaccination record document

Negative Test Result 

  •  Vaccinated travelers coming from Canada, Japan, and the USA arriving in Italy must present proof of a negative molecular/PCR or antigen swab test conducted within 72 hours before entering the country. 

Passport 

  • Your passport book (not card) must be valid for at least six months after the date you will be returning to your home country

Visa 

  • You must ensure you check your visa requirements for entering Italy and the ports of call included within the itinerary. 

Passenger Locator Form (PLF)

  • The PLF must be completed no later than 11:59 PM the day before you arrive in Italy

Going Ashore in Italy

 Ancient walls in Pompeii with volcano Vesuvius in the background

As of right now, fully vaccinated travelers can go ashore in Italy only as part of an Azamara shore excursion. Of course, this situation remains very fluid and may change on short notice. Regardless, we always recommend and encourage guests to sign up for different shore excursions to explore fascinating cultures and history from a whole new perspective. When you join us on shore excursion, you can discover the nuances of Tuscan wine at a breathtaking Italian winery or explore Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance on a guided walking tour. In Sicily, you can explore the Baroque town of Noto, a UNESCO world heritage site or discover Siracusa’s epic history on a guided tour through Greek and Roman ruins. There’s a guided tour of the Borbonic Gallery in Naples, exploring the ancient city of Pompeii, and opportunities to visit Aquileia – northern Italy’s most important archaeological sites — and that’s just a small sample! Whether you’re a foodie, a wine lover, an experienced adventurer, or simply curious about all the things Italy has to offer, there’s a shore excursion for you.

Something we hear from guests again and again is they love that we handle all the details when it comes to shore excursions. Simply join us, and we take care of the rest! Our shore excursions follow Italy’s health and safety requirements, as well as our own standards. 

Dining in Italy

 Red wine bottle and glass on table in vineyard Tuscany Italy

In a country known for its wealth of art, history, and culture, somehow, the first thing that comes to mind when most people hear the word Italy is food. Some of the most iconic dishes on Earth were first cooked in Italian kitchens. Spaghetti, lasagna, pizza — all meals that make the world a better place, all distinctly Italian. We’ve shared our love of Italian food with you many times over the years, and we encourage you to pack your appetite when you travel with us. 

If you’re planning on exploring the restaurants and dishes of Italy, here’s what you need to know. 

Most importantly, vaccinated travelers are currently only able to visit cafes, bars, and restaurants as part of official Azamara shore excursions. Establishments included in these excursions are welcoming vaccinated guests for indoor and outdoor dining, so whether you want an intimate indoor dining experience or would rather people-watch while you enjoy your meal outdoors, you’ll be accommodated. 

Want to know more about the food you’ll be savoring in Italy? Check out our Pocket Guide to Eating in Italy, our Regional Sampling of Italian Cuisine, and food and wine shore excursions currently on offer for Italy.

Exploring Indoors 

Throughout Italy, art galleries, historical museums and sites, and other attractions are open to vaccinated visitors. So, if you’re a culture connoisseur, you’re traveling to the right place! Remember, when visiting indoor museums and attractions, Italian health guidelines and procedures require you to wear approved face coverings.

As part of the Borbonic Gallery Adventure Path & Pizza shore excursion, you’ll make your way through the heart of Naples to view the city’s architectural masterpieces — including the Royal Palace and the Galleria Umberto. Then we’ll take you beneath the city streets to the underground Borbonic Gallery. Here — with flashlight in hand — you’ll explore forgotten subway tunnels, the aqueduct of Carmignano, ancient bridges, and more. This shore excursion offers the opportunity to explore Naples’ past in a new light — literally! When your underground exploration is done, you’ll find yourself at the famous Castle of the Egg in Santa Lucia. From here, it will be time to enjoy pizza Margherita in the city that’s home to the world’s very first pizzeria.

And this is just one of the opportunities you’ll have to explore when you cruise to Italy with us. Be sure to check out our complete list of Italian shore excursions

Exploring Outdoors 

Waterfall along the Valley of the Ferriere, Amalfi Coast 

Italy is a country teeming with natural beauty, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy its authentic splendor when you cruise with us.

In Sorrento, you can hike the Amalfi Coast as part of our Valle De Ferriere Path Hike & Positano shore excursion. You’ll soak up the sun and spectacular views as you make your way on the Ferriere Path. Along the way, you’ll pass lemon groves, cliffs, and waterfalls, all while your guide offers a rich assortment of local insight (and points out the best spots to snap photos). 

If you’d rather see the sights from the back of a motorcoach, you’ll love our Panoramic Ancona excursion. You’ll start at Passetto Terrace in Ancona and make your way into the breathtaking Marche countryside. You’ll visit small coastal villages, take in pristine panoramic views, and learn all about the region’s history from your charismatic guide before returning to Ancona for some well-deserved leisure time. 

When exploring the outdoors in Italy, travelers are strongly encouraged to social distance and wear masks in circumstances where social distancing is not possible. 

The Beautiful Country is Calling

 Tuscany at dawn

It’s important to us that your Italian adventure is one you’ll never forget. That’s why we’re going above and beyond to keep you informed and up-to-date. So if circumstances, guidelines, and local policies change in Italy, you can rest assured that you’ll have the information you need to Explore Well at Sea

Ready to learn more about everything we’re doing to keep you safe at sea? This detailed look at our protocols will help ensure you’re comfortable on your upcoming cruise to Italy

Book your cruise to Italy today.

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