The CDC has approved the first cruise to depart from US in more than a year: The Celebrity Edge, scheduled to set sail on Saturday, June 26 from Port Everglades.
"Celebrity Edge was given the green light by the CDC to be the first ship back in the water, having met all new standards for providing a healthy cruise experience for its guests and crew," Celebrity Cruises said in a statement Wednesday.
The Edge's first seven-day Caribbean cruise will visit Costa Maya, Cozumel and Nassau.
All US passengers 16 and older on the cruise must be vaccinated, Celebrity said, and the entire crew will also be inoculated. Celebrity will allow a small number of guests ages 16 and younger, or others ineligible to be vaccinated to sail, so as to maintain a 95% vaccination threshold as required by the CDC to enter service without test sailings. Starting 1 August, all guests 12 and older will have to be fully vaccinated.
Just a day earlier, sister brand Royal Caribbean International was approved for the industry's first test sailing, also in June.
In a tweet, Celebrity Cruises CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said, "someday is here."
"For the past 15 months our conversations with friends and loved ones about seeing the world have been accompanied by the phrase 'someday.' I'm beyond proud and excited to say that day has arrived," Lutoff-Perlo said in a statement.
Royal Caribbean Group CEO Richard Fain had sounded an enthusiastic note in a message to travel advisors earlier this week. "Cruising from the US is back!" Fain said.
"After months of working with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government officials, our Healthy Sail Panel and industry partners, we can again offer cruise lovers the chance to enjoy the wonders of cruising. We are truly thankful to reach this special milestone."
The Edge will be the third Celebrity ship to launch this summer. The Celebrity Millennium is scheduled to launch from St. Maarten on 5 June and the company's newest ship and sister to the Edge, the Celebrity Apex, will sail from Athens, Greece, on 19 June.
Source: Travel Weekly