What to Expect in Spain and the Canary Islands

What to Expect in Spain and the Canary Islands

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What comes to mind when you think of Spain? Is it the passion of its people? The allure of its architecture? Perhaps it’s the bustling metropolis of Barcelona or the peaceful countryside. From natural wonders to man-made structures that stir the soul, Spain is a country of abundance. And no matter what you’re searching for, the odds are you’ll find it here. 

After successfully returning to Greece and Italy this year, we’ve now set our sights toward Spain. With our steadfast commitment to your health and safety, along with the superior experience you’ve come to expect from Azamara, we’re looking forward to an unforgettable time in Spain with you.

Here, we’ll share our plan for maintaining exceptional health and safety standards aboard our ships. You’ll learn what you need to know before you arrive and enjoy a look at some of the highlights that await you on a cruise to Spain with us.

Traveling to Spain and the Canary Islands with Azamara

 Malaga, Spain cityscape at the Cathedral, City Hall and Alcazaba citadel of Malaga.

There’s an unmistakable joy that comes from a visit to Spain. The architecture, culture, and food all come together to make Spain one of the most special places on Earth. And we’re so excited that it’s a place we can once again visit safely, thanks to the country’s health and safety measures. Starting MArch 1st, when you travel to Spain with us, all crew and guests will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We assure this by requiring everyone boarding our ship to provide their original vaccination record documents issued by their country’s health authority or healthcare provider for validation.

Note: We do our best to keep you up to date, but because of the nature of this ever-evolving situation, we recommend checking with Spain’s Government for confirmation on the latest travel requirements.

Your Questions, Answered

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: Vaccines that are fully approved or authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the European Medicines Agency are accepted. Please be aware that certain countries we sail from or visit during a voyage may require a specific vaccine, and only those travelers vaccinated with the requisite vaccine will be considered fully vaccinated. Be sure to review your departure country's requirements or consult our guest materials prior to sailing for these requirements.  

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. 

Question: What do I need to do before arriving in Spain? 

Answer: Spain’s health and safety protocols make our return to cruising possible, so all visitors must adhere to them. Before traveling to Spain by air, you will need to complete this form and submit it within 48 hours of your flight. Once it is sent, you’ll receive a QR code. We recommend keeping a copy of this code on your phone or printing off a physical copy. You’ll need the code to access the terminal and collect your luggage once you arrive in Spain.   

Because this guidance is constantly evolving and varies by country of origin, we recommend you visit this website for the most up-to-date information.  

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

Answer: 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 Spain?

Answer: Keep this list handy, and you’ll have no trouble keeping 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 (for example, American travelers should have their CDC Vaccination Record Card)

  • Negative Test Result 
    • All vaccinated guests will need to take a complimentary antigen test on arrival at the port and present the negative test result.

  • 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 Spain and the ports of call included within the itinerary

Going Ashore in Spain and the Canary Islands

 colorful Park Güell architectures designed by Antoni Gaudì, Barcelona, Spain

When going ashore in Spain, we strongly recommend exploring as part of an Azamara shore excursion. Guests traveling with unvaccinated children under 12 in their party may only go ashore as part of a private Azamara shore excursion. Starting March 1st, all guests must be vaccinated in order to sail with Azamara. Our excursions operate with the same comprehensive health protocols we follow aboard our ships, providing you with peace of mind. Perhaps best of all, our shore excursions are carefully curated and offer endless opportunities to explore the culture of the ports we visit in a wonderful new light. For example, you can see the markets of Barcelona before enjoying an authentic Spanish cooking lesson with a local chef. Or, hear an architectural expert’s take on the work of Antoni Gaudi. There are opportunities to visit an active Benedictine Monastery, learn about espadrille making in Basque Country, and sample prized Spanish wines. And every step of the way, each detail is handled. All you have to do is arrive and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.  

Explore all available shore excursions available on our upcoming cruises to Spain

Dining in Spain and the Canary Islands

 closeup of a young man serving some typical spanish seafood paella from the paellera, the paella pan, on a table set for lunch

Flavorful, fresh, and fantastic, Spain’s culinary scene is worth traveling for on its own. So whether you’re craving mouthwatering tapas or Michelin-starred meals, here’s what you need to know before dining in Spain. 

Mask mandates remain for indoor locations in Spain, meaning masks will be required to visit cafes, bars, and restaurants while dining inside. This mandate also extends to official Azamara shore excursions. Vaccinated guests are welcome to enjoy dining indoors and outdoors. Regardless of your preference, your meal and the atmosphere is sure to be memorable.

Explore our foodie-focused shore excursions available on our upcoming cruises to Spain.

Exploring Indoors 

 MNAC in Barcelona with rainbow

The museums and masterpieces of Spain are once again open to vaccinated visitors. When visiting indoor museums and attractions — on your own or as part of an Azamara shore excursion — Spanish health guidelines require that you wear approved face coverings. 

Does Picasso pique your interest? Then you’ll love the Discover Picasso shore excursion. This excursion takes you into the heart of Picasso’s Barcelona — through the Gothic Quarter and El Born — before exploring the Picasso Museum, home to a permanent collection of more than 4,200 works. In Valencia, you can visit the Lladró Art Center and the Museum Marqués de Dos Aguas and gain first-hand insight into the art of porcelain production. Or, learn about the history of silk-making with UNESCO’s Silk Road Project, complete with a visit to a Valencian silk shop. 

And these are just a few of the opportunities awaiting you when you cruise to Spain with us. Be sure to check out our complete list of Spanish shore excursions

Exploring Outdoors 

 Bolunzulo old mill and waterfall in Kortezubi. Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. Basque Country. Spain

One look at the pristine panoramic views in Spain, and it’s easy to see why it’s considered among the most beautiful countries in Europe. And when you cruise to Spain with us, you’ll have the opportunity to see this wonderful place in all its glory. When exploring the outdoors in Spain, travelers are strongly encouraged to social distance and wear masks in circumstances where social distancing is not possible. 

In Malaga, you can explore the mountains of Andalusia in an off-road Jeep. As you learn about local flora and fauna, you’ll also be treated to a look at Spain’s rugged natural wonders. Or, hike Northern Spain’s Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve with a local guide who will share their expertise on Spain’s most diverse landscape with you. In Valencia, take a boat ride through Europe’s longest underground river in the San Jose Caves, or catch a glimpse of the world’s largest subterranean lake in Palma de Mallorca

Simply put, Spain is spectacular, and we can’t wait to share it with you once again. 

Explore more of our shore excursions in Spain

Spain is on the Horizon

 Seville, Spain skyline in the Old Quarter.

Whether you’re returning to Spain or visiting for the first time, we want your journey to be a special one. That’s why we’re committed to keeping you informed, up-to-date, and safe. If circumstances, guidelines, and local policies change in Spain, rest assured that we’ll make sure you know. You can find all the information you need on local requirements, as well as a detailed look at our protocols, in our Explore Well at Sea Hub

Book your cruise to Spain today.

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