Royal Caribbean International has announced that six of its ships will begin sailing from major U.S. cruise 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 special Fourth of July weekend sailing to Perfect Day at CocoCay.
By the end of August, 12 Royal Caribbean ships will be cruising once again across The Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.
On the heels of the first cruise in Royal Caribbean’s return to the U.S. will be the debut of the brand-new Odyssey of the Seas on July 3.
This ship will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on new six and eight-night Caribbean cruises, to soon be followed by Allure, Symphony, Independence 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.
“This is it. Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, in a statement.
Time to sail
Royal Caribbean’s newly-revealed vacations offer a range of itineraries that vary in length and destination, ease and flexibility in booking, and convenient departure ports across the U.S.
Royal Caribbean’s full summer lineup:
- Freedom of the Seas – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Miami, starting July 2
- Odyssey of the Seas – 6- and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, starting July 3
- Serenade of the Seas – 7-night Alaska sailings from Seattle, starting July 19
- Allure of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 8
- Ovation of the Seas – 7-night Alaska itineraries from Seattle, starting Aug. 13
- Symphony of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami, starting Aug. 14
- Independence of the Seas – 7-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas, starting Aug. 15
- Mariner of the Seas – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 23
Freedom, Odyssey, Independence of the Seas’ 2021 summer sailings are that of existing itineraries for the following ships: Navigator, Independence, Explorer and Liberty of the Seas, respectively.
Guests booked on these ships will be automatically transferred to the new ship.
The expanded summer lineup will go beyond the U.S. to include international ports across the Atlantic, like Barcelona and Rome, when Harmony of the Seas returns to Europe.
Starting Aug. 15, the Oasis Class ship will set sail on 7-night itineraries to the Western Mediterranean and visit iconic destinations like Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Provence, France.
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.
The complete list of Royal Caribbean’s 2021 cruises is available here.
Health & safety
Travellers can plan their cruise adventure with peace of mind knowing that all crew members will be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Guests are strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols, which will be announced at a later date.
Other measures in place for travellers to cruise with Royal Caribbean include:
- Vacationers sailing to Alaska who are 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 or older as of Aug. 1.
- If departing from an international port, guests must meet the travel requirements of their home country and the country of departure. The most up-to-date policies can be found online on each country’s tourism site.
Royal Caribbean is continuing discussions with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and multiple state, local and port authorities in the U.S. and with various destination communities regarding the various requirements for the upcoming sailings.
The current process requires each ship to complete a simulation cruise before receiving approval to resume sailing once again from U.S. ports.
The applications for simulation cruises are under review and receiving approvals on a rolling basis.
Cruises outside of those announced today will be cancelled through the end of August, the company said.
Booked guests and travel partners impacted will be contacted with further details specific to their sailing, including the option to receive a full refund.
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today