Celebrity Cruises Will Be the First Line to Sail With Ticketed Passengers in June
Celebrity Cruises will operate the first major cruise in U.S. waters in over a year after the coronavirus pandemic abruptly halted vacations on the water.
The cruise line's Celebrity Edge ship will make its grand re-debut from Ft. Lauderdale on June 26, 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% of crew and 95% of passengers onboard vaccinated.
Earlier this week, Royal Caribbean — sister company to Celebrity Cruises — announced it would also be the first ship to set sail in U.S. waters, with a voyage planned for June 20. 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 per person.
All passengers aged 16 or older will be required to show proof of vaccination before boarding. On August 1, the rule will expand to include all travelers 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.