Celebrity Edge will be the first cruise ship from a major line to sail with paying passengers from a U.S. port in more than a year.
“Someday is here,” Celebrity Cruises CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo tweeted triumphantly after receiving the news that the innovative ship has met the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is approved to set sail from Fort Lauderdale on June 26.
At the helm for the momentous departure will be Kate McCue, the first — and still only — female American cruise ship Captain.
All crew members will be vaccinated and all U.S. guests aged 16 and up must be fully inoculated for the sailing.
“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 Lutoff-Perlo.
Lutoff-Perlo also announced that Celebrity Equinox, recently part of a fleetwide $500 million enhancement program, will set sail from U.S. waters for the Caribbean on July 18. Celebrity is returning with an ambitious schedule — eight of the 15 ships in the line’s fleet now have plans to begin sailing again in 2021 and more announcements are planned in the coming weeks.
All of the ships will follow Edge’s lead, sailing with crew and adults 16 and older that are fully-vaccinated. As of August 1, 2021, all U.S. guests ages 12 and older must be fully-vaccinated.
“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 Cruise Lines International Association,” said Richard Fain, Chairman of Royal Caribbean Group, Celebrity’s parent company.
“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.”
Celebrity Edge captured the attention of cruise lovers when it was launched in 2018. Its outward-facing design was created to offer guests more connection with the sea and the places the ship visits.
Highlights include the ‘Magic Carpet,’ a versatile dining and staging platform that can move vertically up the side of the ship. Other notable features include The Retreat, a private resort-within-a-resort, and first-of-their-kind accommodations including two-story villas with private plunge pools. The ship has the distinction of being named ‘one of the world’s greatest places’ by Time Magazine.
Here are some other highlights of Celebrity’s return to cruising:
- The Celebrity Millennium will not only be the first in the fleet to sail with guests again, but the first ship in the industry to sail the Caribbean when she makes her return to service in St Maarten on June 5. Seven-night cruises will visit Aruba, Curaçao, and Barbados.
- The Celebrity Apex, the newest addition to the fleet, will make her world debut in Athens on June 19, with seven-night sailings to the Greek Isles. The cruise marks a return to Greece for the company, which was founded there 33 years ago.
- The Celebrity Silhouette will spend the summer offering UK residents close-to-home cruises around the British Isles. This ship was also transformed as part of the $500 million enhancement program.
- Just last week, Celebrity announced its return to exploring the natural wonders and wildlife of Alaska beginning July 23. The refurbished Celebrity Summit will do the honors.
- Beginning July 4, mega-yacht Celebrity Flora will resume sailing in the Galapagos Islands. She will be followed soon after by the Celebrity Xpedition and the intimate 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration on July 24 and September 18, respectively.
Celebrity Cruises recently simplified its pricing policy. WiFi, drinks, and gratuities are included in the cruise fare.
“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,” Lutoff-Perlo said.
“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,” she added.
Watch Celebrity Edge Video Tour