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First cruise ship to set sail since COVID-19 shutdown approved to depart in June

1 year 1 month 6 days ago Thursday, May 27 2021 May 27, 2021 May 27, 2021 7:56 AM May 27, 2021 in News
Source: CNN

As U.S. citizens continue to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in droves, a major cruise line has announced that it will set sail next month.

CNN reports that Celebrity Edge will be the first major cruise ship to sail from the United States in over a year.

The ship is part of the Celebrity Cruises line owned by Royal Caribbean Group and it will set sail from Fort Lauderdale in June 2021.

Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO issued a statement, saying, "After months of working with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 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." 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in order for cruise lines to recommence sailing in US waters, they must either complete "trial" cruises to replicate real-world cruising conditions, or comply with the CDC vaccination requirements.

Celebrity Cruises is choosing to work in harmony with the CDC vaccination requirements. This involves presenting an attestation to the CDC stating "that 95% of crew (excluding any newly embarking crew in quarantine) are fully vaccinated and submit to CDC a clear and specific vaccination plan and timeline to limit cruise ship sailings to 95% of passengers who have been verified by the cruise ship operator as fully vaccinated prior to sailing."

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity's sister company, recently announced plans to run its first trial cruise in June.

The much-anticipated cruise will depart from Port Everglades on June 26, with all crew and all passengers over the age of 16 required to show proof they have been fully vaccinated before boarding. 

Other countries are also re-launching cruise travel. MSC Cruises recently launched several short "staycation" itineraries in and around the United Kingdom earlier this month.

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