The pandemic surely knocked the cruise industry for a loop. In the first days, there were passengers and crew who were stranded. By the summer months, cruise ships were completely docked and no one was sailing anywhere. Cruise lines were suffering financially, and some ships were even sold for scrap to bring in money.
COVID-19 caused the loss of thousands of jobs, and millions of dollars in the cruise industry, but finally, ships are sailing once again. In order to say afloat, it is essential that ships, crew and passengers stay Covid free.
The Celebrity Edge was he first ship to sail from the U.S., but before that, the MSC Grandiosa sailed from Genoa, Italy in August 2020. Cruises from Italy have continued to sail since then, as well as from other European destinations including Spain, Croatia and Malta.
May brought the start of UK “staycation” cruises which were confined to UK waters and ports. Similarly, in Singapore, Royal Caribbean launched “cruises to nowhere.” The Celebrity Millennium is currently sailing the Caribbean.
It is expected that 49% of cruise ships will be sailing by the end of September 2021, and by the end of 2022, all ships will be operating.
For current sailings, cruise ships can sail if 95% of the crew and paying passengers are fully vaccinated, which meets the requirements of the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO). Passengers are required to fill out a health questionnaire form and provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
On the first cruise from the U.S. since the pandemic, the Celebrity Edge set sail with 95% of guests fully vaccinated, and an almost a 100% vaccinated crew. There were only 1,200 passengers on a ship that normally carries just over 3,000 passengers. It was important to Celebrity that guests had an experience as close to a pre-pandemic cruise as possible – a real vacation. The ship’s horn was blown each evening to shop that hope floats, and that it can and will rise again.
Looking forward to seeing you on a cruise in the near future!