US cruise line gets approval to set sail from Fort Lauderdale in June
CNN – Celebrity Edge is set to be the first cruise ship to sail from the United States in more than a year as pandemic restrictions dissipate.
The ship, which belongs to the Royal Caribbean Group and is part of the Celebrity Cruises line, has been cleared to sail in June 2021 from Fort Lauderdale.
“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,” Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO, said in a press statement.
In order to begin sailing again in US waters, the cruise line had two options, according to the CDC. The company could either complete “trial” cruises to replicate real-world cruising conditions, or comply with the CDC vaccination requirements.
Celebrity Cruises has opted for the latter, which involves submitting 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,” CNN reported.
Celebrity’s sister company, Royal Caribbean, recently announced plans to run a trial cruise in June.
The Celebrity cruise will leave from Port Everglades on June 26. All crew and passengers who are older than 16 will be required to prove they have been fully vaccinated before boarding the ship. And that regulation won’t be going away — after August 1, the vaccination rule will expand to include travelers over the age of 12, CNN reported.
The ship can hold nearly 3,000 guests. The cruise’s full itinerary for its landmark June sailing has not yet been announced.
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