Celebrity Edge has become the first ship to sail from a US homeport this weekend, marking the end of a 15-month hiatus.
Carrying 1,100 vaccinated passengers, the Celebrity Cruises ship captained by Kate McCue kickstarted the resumption of cruising in the US, home to some of the most important ports in the industry.
Celebrity Edge became the latest to resume sailing in recent weeks, following successful restarts by Royal Caribbean, Windstar, Silversea and fleet-mates Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Apex. UK cruise lines Saga and P&O Cruises also returned to service this weekend with coastal sailings around the UK coastline.
Speaking at an emotionally charged press conference in Port Everglades, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO, Richard Fain, said: ‘Today we are truly making history. It means so much to every individual at our company, every individual in our crew to be part of the story of rebuilding the tourism economy.’
He continued: ‘We are determined to take all the steps it takes to get through this journey as we start back up.’
Captain Kate McCue, who broke boundaries in becoming the first female captain of a cruise ship, added: ‘I’m truly proud, humbled and honoured to be taking the helm of Celebrity Edge once again today and leading our industry back into the water and back into service.’