CDC Approves More Cruise Ships for Test and Restricted Voyages

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The CDC has released a list of ships that have been approved for sailings, either simulated or restricted, from US ports.

Eight ships have been approved for sailing simulated voyages, and two cruise ships have been approved for restricted revenue cruises. These ships will be sailing from Port Canaveral and Port Miami in Florida and Galveston in Texas.

Carnival Cruise Line

Two ships from Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line have been approved now for simulated voyages. These are Carnival Vista sailing from Galveston, Texas, and Carnival Horizon sailing from Port Miami. The cruise line is still waiting for approval of its cruises in Alaska, from Seattle, and for Carnival Breeze’s cruises from Galveston.

Carnival Cruise Line Ships Arrive in Galveston
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line will only require guests onboard Carnival Miracle to be fully vaccinated on cruises to Alaska sailing from July 27 onwards. These cruises will sail from Seattle to Tracy Arm Fjord, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan before returning to Seattle.

Guests onboard other Carnival cruise line cruises this summer will not have to be fully vaccinated, although they will be required to adhere to stricter COVID-19 measures onboard.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises has two ships now approved for what the CDC calls restricted voyages. These voyages are for guests that have been fully vaccinated. This means that at least 95% of the guests on board the ship need to be vaccinated, while 98% of the crew will need to be vaccinated.

Celebrity Edge Cruise Ship
Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

Celebrity Edge is the first cruise ship to receive permission to start sailings this summer from the United States, the first in more than a year. Cruises onboard Celebrity Edge will depart from Fort Lauderdale starting June 26. Ports of call include Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Nassau on the western Caribbean sailings, and Nassau, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas on the Eastern Caribbean sailings.

Celebrity Equinox has now been added and approved to start sailings under the restricted format; the first sailing will depart on July 4 from Fort Lauderdale. Itineraries in the Western include calls in the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Nassau, and Costa Maya. Eastern Caribbean itineraries include Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico the Dominican Republic.

Royal Caribbean

The CDC has approved a further four vessels for test cruises from the United States; these are Allure of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Independence of the Seas. This includes the first vessel to be approved for simulated voyages from Royal Caribbean, Freedom of the Seas, which will sail on its test voyage on June 20 from Port Miami.

The Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas
Photo Credit: Philip Armitage /

Allure of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas will sail on July 27 and August 1, respectively, from Port Canaveral and Port Miami. The cruise line has not yet said when it plans to undertake the test sailings with Mariner of the Seas from Port Canaveral or Independence of the Seas from Galveston, Texas.

Also Read: Six Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships to Restart in July and August From the US

Disney Cruise Line

One more company has also been approved for test sailings; Disney Cruise Line will sail with Disney Dream on June 29 for its test voyage.

Test voyages are the final step before a vessel receives a Conditional Sailing Certificate. The cruise lines will need to make these test voyages with each vessel they plan to operate under unvaccinated guests cruises. Should the cruise line decide to use a ship only for vaccinated guests, they must comply with the 98% – 95% rule.

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