Tourist Information Guide

Express COVID testing for cruise ship passengers. How to get tested fast and avoid the queues

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Latest update: 23 June 2022

On this page we outline how cruise ship passengers can get an express COVID test certificate issued for a cruise leaving Barcelona. Unlike many COVID testing services the testing services we outline on this page can only be booked in advanced. The Express COVID testing centre for cruise passengers only works by pre-arranged appointment ensuring there is no waiting time for your test. We provide a link to a simple reservation form you can use to make your booking for your cruise pre-boarding COVID test. Nobody likes waiting in a queue on their holidays and the Express COVID testing centre service aims to make your test as quickly as possible so that you can get on and enjoy your holiday. The Express COVID testing service for cruise passengers issues travel COVID certificates for all the cruise liners leaving from Barcelona. The three options for express testing for cruise passengers are:

1. Express COVID testing clinic near the Sagrada Familia.
2. COVID testing in your hotel / apartment.
3. COVID testing with a transfer from the airport included.


The problems associated with getting a pre-boarding COVID test certificate

We have been informed by cruise passengers that there have been long queues of up to 2 hours to 3 hours and, these queues can be without shade in the hot Spanish sun. Unfortunately COVID testing centres recommended by cruises generally do not work by appointment and there can be thousands of cruise ship passengers wanting to get tested at the same time leading to long hours waiting in a queue.

The testing clinic 5 minutes walk from the Sagrada Familia
The express COVID testing clinic 5 minutes walk from the Sagrada Familia

You should also consider that waiting in a crowded space in a queue for a long time exposes you to the possibility of catching the virus if someone in that queue is COVID positive. You might want to avoid taking unnecessary risks just before boarding a cruise. It would be a shame to get COVID while waiting in a queue to get tested for COVID and that your cruise would end earlier than expected if you were to test positive shortly after.

To help alleviate the problem of queuing for a COVID test, we have identified an express testing centre that only works by appointment and can issue COVID test travel certificates for all of the main cruise liners. Each cruise liner has its specific requirements for the COVID test certificate, and this testing centre issues certificates for all of them, including the following cruises to name a few:

Azamara, Celebrity, Costa, Disney, MSC, Norwegian, Princess, Regent Seven of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn and Valiant Lady Virgin Voyage Cruise

When you arrive at the express COVID testing centre make sure to given them the name of your cruise and they will ensure to issue you with the correct COVID test certificate and paperwork that meets the requirements for your your specific cruise.



The express COVID testing centre is just 5 minutes walk from Barcelona's No.1 tourist attraction - the Sagrada Familia

Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Sagrada Familia is Barcelona's no.1 tourist attraction and only 5 minutes walk from the testing centre.

The express COVID testing centre we recommend for cruise ship passengers is situated just 5 minutes walk from Barcelona's no.1 tourist attraction – Gaudi's famous Sagrada Familia, which is the giant basilica in Barcelona. This specialist testing centre can issue your COVID cruise travel certificate 15 minutes after being tested. The testing centre only works by appointment. Therefore, there is no queuing and no waiting time. The test will take about 5 minutes, and the certificate will be issued within 15 minutes. Suppose you don't want to wait 15 minutes for your certificate to be issued. In that case, you could visit the Sagrada Familia immediately after your test and then pick up your certificate after your visit. The testing centre will also email you the certificate to have your cruise COVID negative certificate in both printed and digital form. We recommend that you get tested first then go to the Sagrada Familia rather than the other way around. The reason for getting tested first is because you have a fixed appointment time. If you do not turn up at your appointed time you may not be able to get tested. Therefore we recommend getting tested first then visit the Sagrada Familia so that you are not rushing your visit to make your test appointment time. If you decide to visit the Sagrada Familia you can also click on the link below for you to order your Sagrada Familia express entry tickets.


Why you need to book your test in advance

You must book your COVID test as early as possible to ensure that your time slot is available. This express COVID testing centre restrict the number of patients tested for a particular time slot. Once that time slot is full you would not be able to book with them for that time slot. Restricting testing to a maximum quantity of people per time slot is how the test centre can ensure they can offer an express testing service giving you your results as quickly as possible.


Price of a nasal antigen test or a saliva antigen test

Prices for a nasal antigen test or a saliva antigen test are the same.

Antigen test price without our special discount: €39.00

Special discount with our voucher: €10.00

Antigen test price with our special discount applied: €29.00

You discount voucher is sent to you via email when you complete your reservation.


How to get a COVID test for your cruise in your hotel or accommodation

Another option to consider is to arrange to have your COVID test in your hotel. You can make a booking by following the link below and a qualified COVID testing nurse will make a visit to your hotel or tourist apartment to perform your test at your desired time. This option is a little more expensive than visiting the testing centre however it can save you time and is a lot more convenient.

The test centres that we have listed on our website issue test certificates valid for cruises and only work with appointments. They can issue your COVID certificates that meet all of the cruise testing requirements for all major cruises that arrive in Barcelona. Just make sure to indicate the name of your cruise you will be embarking on before you get tested.

Click on the buttons below to know more about these test centres. You will also find information about the at home testing service.

Click to learn where to get an antigen test in Barcelona with an appointment and with a valid test certificate to board your cruise

Click to learn where to get a PCR test in Barcelona with an appointment and with a valid test certificate to board your cruise.


Cruise passenger transfer and test service

This service will pick you up in a private vehicle from Barcelona airport (or anywhere in the city), and they will take you directly to the testing centre. You will have your fast-track test, and then they will transfer you to your destination - your cruise or your hotel. This service is the most convenient and efficient for cruise passengers arriving at Barcelona airport. Click on the button below to learn more about the cruise passenger transfer and test service.

Would you recommend a general COVID testing centre to get my cruise COVID test certificate?

In general we do not recommend that you go to a general COVID test centre to get tested for your cruise, because they may not know the specific testing requirements needed by each cruise liner. In addition many of them only have staff that speak Catalan or Spanish which can make communication difficult. The general COVID test centres of Barcelona generally do not do tests by appointment. This means you could get stuck in a long queue. If, however, you still want to go to your own testing centre then make sure to plan in advance for the possibility of queuing for up to 2 hours in the street, in a long line under the sun. Take water with you and a cap along with sunscreen to protect you from the sun is a good idea.

You should also consider that waiting in a crowded space for a long period of time with others who are all waiting to be tested for COVID potentially exposes you more to the possibility of catching COVID. You might want to avoid taking unnecessary risks just before boarding a cruise.

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