4 Major Cruise Lines To Set Sail

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The world watched last weekend as the first major cruise ship open to North Americans—the Celebrity Millennium—set sail from St. Maarten. The cruise lines serving the U.S. market have not sailed since March 2020, but things are changing quickly.

Here’s an update from four top cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International has announced that 6 of its ships will begin sailing from major U.S. ports in Florida and Texas in July and August. The cruise line’s comeback will kick off on July 2 in Miami with Freedom of the Seas embarking on a Fourth of July weekend sailing to Perfect Day at CocoCay. And by the end of August, 12 Royal Caribbean ships will be cruising once again across The Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.

Odyssey of the Seas will then debut on July 3. The  ship will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on new 6- and 8-night Caribbean cruises, and will be followed by AllureSymphonyIndependence and Mariner of the Seas. In the coming weeks, the cruise line will announce its plans to reintroduce its full fleet around the globe by year’s end. The 2021 summer cruises are available to book today.

The new U.S and Europe cruises extend Royal Caribbean’s previously announced plans to return to sailing, which include Adventure of the Seas departing from The Bahamas on June 12, as well as Anthem of the Seas sailing out of the U.K., and Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus in July.

Celebrity Cruises

Leading the way with the sailing of the Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Cruises’ much- anticipated return to sailing continues, as the new-luxury ship Celebrity Equinox has now been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to sail from Fort Lauderdale on July 25. It will closely follow Celebrity Edge’s industry-first cruise departure from U.S. waters for the Caribbean on June 26.

Nine of the 14 ships within the Celebrity Cruises fleet have plans to return by mid-September. The recently revolutionized Celebrity Equinox will set sail on a seven-night cruise visiting the  Mexican ports of Cozumel and Costa Maya, along with Nassau, Bahamas.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its return to Miami, with Norwegian Gem scheduled to cruise seven-day itineraries to the Caribbean beginning August 15, and a four-day voyage to the Bahamas in November. The company has additional itineraries to Bermuda starting September 26 from New York on Norwegian Breakaway; the Mexican Riviera on October 24 from Los Angeles aboard Norwegian Bliss; and the Caribbean on November 13 from Port Canaveral on Norwegian Escape. In addition, Norwegian Encore, the newest ship in the fleet, will make her debut on the West Coast, replacing the previously announced Norwegian Bliss in Seattle for the 2021 Alaska summer cruise season.

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that it will return to operations with Carnival Vista sailing from Port of Galveston on July 3. That will be followed by the return to operations of Carnival Breeze on July 15. The other ship and port identified for a July restart is Carnival Horizon from Miami.

For details on vaccination and testing requirements fro groups, contact the individual cruise lines.

A portion of this article first appeared at Recommend.com

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.