Celebrity Cruises announced that the Celebrity Equinox has received approval from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to sail from Fort Lauderdale beginning on July 25, 2021.
With today’s announcement, nine of the 14 ships in Celebrity’s fleet plan to resume sailing by mid-September to destinations from the Caribbean to Europe, Alaska and the Galapagos.
The Celebrity Edge will operate the first revenue cruise from U.S. waters for the Caribbean on June 26.
The recently upgraded Celebrity Equinox will operate seven-night cruises to Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, along with Nassau, Bahamas.
“It is so exciting to announce yet another ship on the heels of Celebrity Millennium leading the industry’s Caribbean comeback to rave reviews just this past Saturday. From the outpouring of comments and emotion from our guests and crew on that sailing, it’s clear that people are ready to cruise back to normal,” said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “We’ve all been waiting for the day we could get away, again, to the places we’ve been dreaming of and that ‘someday’ is here.”
Celebrity Equinox joins eight ships in the Celebrity fleet that have been announced as part of its phased summer restart, including:
— Celebrity Millennium, which began sailing seven-night Caribbean itineraries from St. Maarten on June 5, and will reposition to Seattle to sail seven-night “Alaska Dawes Glacier” cruises beginning July 23. Celebrity Summit will then sail the remaining St. Maarten season through August, followed by plans for a new series of four- and five-night sailings from Fort Lauderdale to the Western Caribbean through late October.
— Celebrity Apex will sail seven-night Greek Isles itineraries starting June 19.
— Celebrity Edge will sail a rotating schedule of Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, beginning June 26.
— Celebrity Silhouette will start sailing the U.K. coastline as of July 3.
— Celebrity Flora will return to the Galapagos Islands as of July 3, followed by the Celebrity Xpedition and Celebrity Xploration on July 24, and Sept. 18, respectively.
Celebrity Cruises will require vaccines of all guests 16 years and older. As of Aug. 1, the requirement is for all guests age 12 and up to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before boarding. It was unclear how Celebrity would deal with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ mandate against so-called “vaccine passports,” which would impact cruises departing from Florida ports.
“We are grateful to the governor for his support of the industry and his efforts to advance the return of operations from U.S. ports beginning this summer, and look forward to continuing productive conversations for a smooth resumption of cruising in Florida,” the company said. “We are working to finalize our health and safety measures for cruises departing from U.S. ports, including Florida, in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local and state authorities as well as the destinations we visit.”
All guests two years of age and older will be required to wear an appropriate face covering in the cruise terminal. Once onboard, masks will not be required of vaccinated guests unless otherwise stipulated by local governments in the destinations being visited. For more details on Celebrity’s health protocols, click here.
Celebrity’s “Cruise with Confidence” policy allows guests who have booked by July 31, 2021, to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure on sailings through Sept. 30, 2022, and receive a 100 percent credit for a future cruise.
Celebrity Equinox guests will also experience Celebrity’s new “Always Included” approach where Wi-Fi, drinks and gratuities are always included in the cruise fare.