Royal Caribbean International announced on Friday that starting June, the cruise line will restart cruises and will require all adult passengers to be vaccinated. Available as of March 24, the cruise line will offer 7-night cruises leaving from the company’s new homeport of Nassau, Bahamas starting June 12. Staff and crew members will be vaccinated for the coronavirus, according to Royal Caribbean, and passengers over the age of 18 will have to be as well. Anyone under the age of 18 must have a negative test result to board Adventure of the Seas, the company says.
“We are excited to get back to delivering memorable vacations in the Caribbean, gradually and safely. The vaccines are clearly a game-changer for all of us, and with the number of vaccinations and their impact growing rapidly, we believe starting with cruises for vaccinated adult guests and crew is the right choice. As we move forward, we expect this requirement and other measures will inevitably evolve over time,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for Cruise Ships
Passengers will be able to book a cruise starting Wednesday, March 24. Having Nassau be the new homeport for the cruise line seems to be a way to work around the current cruising guidances by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since March of last year, the cruise line industry has been virtually shut down in the US. However, the CDC’s new cruising guidelines say that in order to resume carrying passengers, the companies have to demonstrate they have procedures for testing, quarantining and isolating passengers and crew.
They will have to build test labs on all ships and make their own arrangements to isolate or quarantine passengers onshore, if needed. Before being allowed to sail, they will have to conduct mock voyages with volunteers playing passengers who get sick, the CDC said. The first cruise departs on June 12. The company says online booking will begin on March 24. Celebrity Cruises, owned by Royal Caribbean, also announced it will restart cruises in June leaving from St. Maarten.