Celebrity Cruises will operate the first major cruise on US waters in over a year after the pandemic abruptly halted all vacations. The cruise line’s Celebrity Edge ship will make its grand re-debut from Ft Lauderdale on 26 June, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines allow ships to either complete a series of test cruises or agree to have 98 per cent of the crew and 95 per cent of passengers onboard vaccinated. By Cailey Rizzo
Earlier this week, Royal Caribbean — sister company to Celebrity Cruises — announced it would also be the first ship to set sail in US waters, with a voyage planned for 20 June. But the Royal Caribbean cruise will be a test cruise with volunteer passengers while Celebrity Cruises will operate the first voyage with a vaccinated crew and ticketed passengers.
“We’ve consulted with the brightest minds in the health industry to ensure that our passengers and crew feel safe and comfortable on our ships while enjoying the uncompromised experience they know and love,” Richard Fain, Chairman of Royal Caribbean Group said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure.
The seven-night cruise aboard the Celebrity Edge will sail around the Caribbean and will be helmed by Captain Kate McCue, the first (and still only) American female cruise ship captain. It is available to book online from $1,739 (around INR 1,25,871) per person.
All passengers aged 16 or older will be required to show proof of vaccination before boarding. On 1 August, the rule will expand to include all travellers aged 12 or older.
Eight of the 14 ships in the Celebrity fleet are planned to set sail this summer. Celebrity Edge is the third ship of the fleet to re-enter service. Celebrity Millennium is scheduled to set sail from St Maarten on June 5 and the brand-new Celebrity Apex will make its world debut from Athens on June 19.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or caileyrizzo.com.
Editor’s Note: Keeping the current situation of the pandemic in mind, T+L India recommends every reader to stay safe and take all government-regulated precautions in case travel at this time is absolutely necessary. Please follow our stories on COVID-19 for all the latest travel guidelines.