Royal Caribbean International’s president Michael Bayley has confirmed that the line’s ship Ovation of the Seas has been approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a simulated sailing.
“Ovation of the Seas simulated voyage just approved by the CDC to sail from Seattle to Alaska July 30 to August 4 ! Onwards and upwards ship by ship,” he posted on his Facebook page.
Guidance from the CDC states that there are two choices for each ship to resume revenue sailings. The first is to guarantee that it is sailing with 98 percent of crew and 95 percent of passengers fully vaccinated. The second is to operate a simulated cruise with volunteer passengers, where various procedures and protocols related to health and safety will be put to the test during the sailing.
So far, Royal Caribbean has opted for the test cruise route with its ships.
Another Royal Caribbean ship, Freedom of the Seas, was the first cruise vessel ever to complete one of these simulated voyages. These other ships from the line have also been approved to operate test cruises: Allure, Oasis, Independence, Mariner, Serenade, Symphony, and Odyssey of the Seas.
This week, Royal Caribbean closed volunteer sign-ups to the public. Over 350,000 people signed up to try their chances at being among the first back on a Royal ship after over a year.