U.S. cruise ships have been docked for the last 15 months because of the coronavirus pandemic, but with the blessing of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Celebrity Edge will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on June 26.
“For the past 15 months our conversations with friends and loved ones about seeing the world have been accompanied by the phrase ‘someday,'” Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said in a statement. “I’m beyond proud and excited to say that day has arrived.”
Several cruise lines have announced itineraries for the summer, but before they can hit the seas, they must receive approval from the CDC, The Washington Post reports. Celebrity Cruises is the first company to get the green light. It did not share its health and safety rules for its first post-pandemic cruise or say whether passengers will have to wear masks.
The Celebrity Edge will head to the Caribbean, with reduced capacity. All crew members and U.S. passengers 16 and over must be vaccinated, Celebrity Cruises said, and the company promised there will be “more space — and more luxury — in all restaurants and venues.” The cruise industry was crushed by the pandemic, and Congress approved a bill that will allow cruise lines to travel to Alaska this summer without stopping in Canada, a usual requirement, the Post reports.