Cruising Is Back! CDC Will Allow Big-Ship Cruises to Set Sail in June

Anchors aweigh on Celebrity Edge!

Celebrity Edge

Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Cruising is officially back! On late Wednesday, May 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the first big-ship sailing from a U.S. port since February 2020; Celebrity Cruises will set sail on June 26 from Fort Lauderdale, with bookings open now.

“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,” Celebrity Cruises CEO and President Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said in a statement.

The first sailing will be aboard Celebrity Edge, a 2,918-passenger ship, which will follow a seven-night Caribbean itinerary. But the vessel won't be filled to the brim with eager travelers—Celebrity has decided to sail at reduced capacity as part of its COVID-19 safety protocols.

The cruise line is also mandating that all passengers 16 and over must be fully vaccinated (the crew will be fully vaccinated as well). And once the number of unvaccinated children reaches five percent of the ship's capacity, no more will be permitted to join the sailing.

Since that measure ensures that 95 percent of passengers will be vaccinated, Celebrity will not have to undergo a CDC-required test cruise to prove its health standards are up to par, unlike its sister brand Royal Caribbean, which is running a simulated sailing with volunteer passengers next month.

“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 Celebrity Cruises' parent company Royal Caribbean, said in a statement.

While Celebrity Edge has been given the go-ahead for future sailings, it's currently the only ship in Celebrity's fleet that can raise its anchors—cruise lines must petition the CDC to restart operations for each vessel. But now that the first ship has been approved, we think it's only a matter of time before the rest follow across all major cruise lines.

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Cruise Ship Guidance." May 27, 2021.

  2. Celebrity Cruises. "Celebrity Cruises Leads Industry With First Cruise Ship Approved to Sail From a US Port." May 26, 2021.