Cruises from the United States are finally back! The moment that we have all been waiting for is here. There have been countless delays, and a recent COVID outbreak even made it seem like a return to cruises might be further off than we thought. But as of June 26th, cruises are officially back in the US. Here are all the details on the first embarkment of the year, as well as a look at what’s next.
The first cruise in 15 months
For more than a year now, there has not been a single passenger cruise with more than 250 people to sail from the US. COVID and the CDC’s rules made the situation complicated enough that cruise lines were struggling to get back into business even as the spread of the virus slowed down recently. But that 15 month streak of no cruises was finally broken on June 26th by Celebrity Edge. The ship, which has a capacity of 2918 guests and 1377 crew members, sailed out of Port Everglades in Florida. Only 1195 travelers were let onto the ship to allow for social distancing. Of those 1195 travelers, nearly all were vaccinated so as to align with the CDC’s current rules.
Fain in attendance
Underscoring the magnitude of this sailing was a speech from the CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, Richard Fain. He said, “This is a momentous sailing and one that we have been preparing for a long time. It’s not only a huge honor to be the first ship back in the water, leading the industry in the long-awaited return to U.S.-based cruising, it’s also an incredible achievement and testament to the tireless efforts of our shoreside team and onboard crew.” You can check out the full video of his statement over here. In addition to delivering a speech, Fain also stayed onboard to experience the 7-night Caribbean itinerary. We can’t blame him!
While a return to full normalcy won’t take place immediately, this sailing definitely is the first of many in the US this summer. Royal Caribbean’s very own Freedom of the Seas will be sailing out of Miami in July 2nd, and an Alaskan cruise season is set to start around the end of July. There are also multiple trial cruises set to occur over the course of the next few months, and this will hopefully solidify the fact that cruises are safe once again.
Are you as excited as we are that cruises are finally making a return in the United States? If so, keep an eye out on our site. We’ll keep updating you on all the developments and the best itineraries that are happening this summer!