The cruise company will launch its first vessel in over a year.
Out of the numerous entertainment and leisure industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the cruise industry may have been one of the worst cases. The Diamond Princess incident near the beginning of 2020, wherein 712 people out of 3,711 passengers are crew became sickened with the disease, 14 of whom died and the remainder confined to the docked vessel for days on end, set a decisively negative precedent for the cruise industry as a whole. This was also one of the first major outbreaks of the virus outside of China, showing the world the genuine danger of the pandemic. Since then, the cruise industry has been in limbo, unable to launch any of its vessels on vacation cruises.
Royal Caribbean Group, a company that owns multiple major cruise lines, has had the same difficulties. One of their lines, Celebrity Cruises, has not completed a voyage since March 2020. However, as of today, Celebrity Edge has officially received the green light from the CDC to resume its business, which it will do promptly; a Celebrity Edge cruise will depart from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 26, 2021.
“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.
Celebrity Cruises gets CDC approval for a June comeback, marking the first sailing from U.S. waters https://t.co/8s67eWd2dP
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 27, 2021
This authorization, however, does not come without caveats. Celebrity Cruises has been required to submit a formal attestation to the CDC, promising “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.”
The full itinerary for the voyage has not yet been released.