It’s been a long time, 15 months to be exact, since a cruise ship sailed out of a U.S. port. Today, Celebrity Cruises received approval to resume cruising from Florida and they’ve chosen their first ship to do it.
On Saturday, June 26, Celebrity Edge will be the first cruise ship to sail from a U.S. port in more than a year. Captain Kate McCue, the only female American captain, will be back at the helm of Celebrity Edge as it departs from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.
Celebrity Edge – First Ship to Sail from U.S. Port
Celebrity Edge received the green light from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to resume cruises just in time for summer vacations. It was on March 14, 2020, that the CDC issued the No Sail Order and sent the cruise industry into a tailspin.
Just barely one and one-half years before the No Sail Order was issued, the unique-designed Celebrity Edge made its Fort Lauderdale debut. Arriving into Port Everglades on November 20, 2018, the ship’s outward-facing design and amazing Magic Carpet platform deck were a cruise industry first.
Also First Ship Approved to Sail U.S. Waters
Celebrity Edge will depart Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, on what could be considered a historic seven-night Caribbean cruise. The ship had to meet all the new health and safety standards required by the CDC, to be granted approval to sail by the CDC and will be the first ship back in U.S. waters.
“For the past 15 months our conversations with friends and loved ones about seeing the world have been accompanied by the phrase ‘someday.’ I’m beyond proud and excited to say that day has arrived,” said Celebrity Cruises CEO and President Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “The power of travel has a way of healing our souls as we connect with cultures, sights, and experiences that bring greater joy and renewed energy to our lives. Nothing compares to these experiences at sea and now the wonder of these journeys returns. We’ve been preparing for this day for months and, on behalf of all of us at Celebrity Cruises, we’re ready and we can’t wait to welcome our guests aboard once again!”
Celebrity Edge is consider by many to be the most innovative cruise ship in the world. With its incredible Magic Carpet, the orange platform that can be raised and lowered above the sea and the uber-luxurious two-story villas with private plunge pools, Edge is something unique to experience.
“Today’s exciting news is the result of a collaboration with the CDC, our elected officials at the local, state and national levels and our industry partners at CLIA,” said Richard Fain, Chairman of Royal Caribbean Group, parent company of Celebrity Cruises. “We’ve consulted with the brightest minds in the health industry to ensure that our passengers and crew feel safe and comfortable on our ships while enjoying the uncompromised experience they know and love.”
More Celebrity Ships to Resume Cruises
Following today’s announcement, it was revealed that eight of Celebrity Cruises 15 ships plan to return to sailing this year. So far, planned destinations include the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and the Galapagos Islands.
- Celebrity Millennium will resume cruising from St. Maarten in the Eastern Caribbean on June 5. Included on the seven-night cruise will be visits to Aruba, Barbados and Curacao.
- Celebrity Apex, the newest ship in the fleet, will return to Europe for a series of seven-night Greek Islands cruises beginning June 19.
- Celebrity Silhouette will offer cruises from Southampton, England for UK residents only and cruise the British Isles. Celebrity Silhouette was recently refurbished as part of Celebrity’s $500 million “revolution” program.
- Celebrity Flora, a state-of-the-art yacht, will return to sailing the Galapagos Islands on July 4. Shortly afterwards, Celebrity Flora will be joined by Celebrity Xpedition on July 24 and the cozy 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration on September 18, 2021.
- Celebrity Summit, for the first time, will cruise from Seattle on a series of seven-night Inside Passage cruises to Alaska beginning July 23. The ship will offer nine departures through the middle of September.
More updates on ships and departures are forthcoming.
Vaccination Requirements to Cruise
All Celebrity ships’ crew members will be fully vaccinated. U.S. passengers ages 16 years and older must be fully vaccinated. As of August 1, 2021, all U.S. guests ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated.
Requirements for Non-U.S. passengers vary with additional details available at Celebrity’s Healthy at Sea information page.