Courtesy Travel Weekly: May 26, 2021 “Celebrity Edge was given the green light by the CDC to be the first ship back in the water, having met all new standards for providing a healthy cruise experience for its guests and crew,” Celebrity Cruises said in a statement Wednesday.
The Edge’s first seven-day Caribbean cruise will visit Costa Maya, Cozumel and Nassau.
All U.S. passengers 16 and older on the cruise must be vaccinated, Celebrity said, and the entire crew will also be inoculated. Celebrity will allow a small number of guests ages 16 and younger, or others ineligible to be vaccinated to sail, so as to maintain a 95% vaccination threshold as required by the CDC to enter service without test sailings. Starting Aug. 1, all guests 12 and older will have to be fully vaccinated.
Capt. Kate McCue will helm the Celebrity Edge on its return to service.
Just a day earlier, sister brand Royal Caribbean International was approved for the industry’s first test sailing, also in June
In a tweet, Celebrity Cruises CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said, “someday is here.”
“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,” Lutoff-Perlo said in a statement.
“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.”
Captain Kate McCue, the only American female cruise ship captain, will helm the ship on its return to service.
Royal Caribbean Group CEO Richard Fain had sounded an enthusiastic note in a message to travel advisors earlier this week, and he struck the same tone in a company statement following the announcement from Celebrity.
“Cruising from the U.S. is back!” Fain said. “After months of working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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.”
The Edge will be the third Celebrity ship to launch this summer. The Celebrity Millennium is scheduled to launch from St. Maarten on June 5 and the company’s newest ship and sister to the Edge, the Celebrity Apex, will sail from Athens, Greece, on June 19.
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