While several lines have announced plans to return to service after a 15-month halt due to the pandemic, those have all been missing approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Wednesday, Miami-based Celebrity Cruises said it had everything it needed: plans to cruise with paying passengers and the go-ahead from the public health agency. The CDC confirmed the approval.
“For the past 15 months our conversations with friends and loved ones about seeing the world have been accompanied by the phrase ‘someday,’” Celebrity president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said in a statement. “I’m beyond proud and excited to say that day has arrived.”
Celebrity Edge will leave Fort Lauderdale on June 26 for the Caribbean at reduced capacity. All crew will be vaccinated, and most passengers will have to be. Initially, U.S. guests 16 and older are required to be fully vaccinated; that age drops to 12 as of Aug. 1. Passengers 18 and older from the UK must be vaccinated.
The announcement about the June cruise did not lay out what kind of health and safety rules passengers will face. A health and safety page on Celebrity’s website frames the reduced capacity as a perk, saying it will provide “more space — and more luxury — in all restaurants and venues.”