Freedom of the Seas to kick off the cruise line’s return by Fourth of July, before a full-fleet return by year’s end.
MIAMI – Travelers can once again mark their calendars and set their sights on a summer full of long-awaited cruise vacations. Building on the excitement of its upcoming return to Alaska, Royal Caribbean International has announced that six of its award-winning 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, the cruise capital of the world, 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 highly anticipated return to the U.S. will be the debut of the brand-new Odyssey of the Seas* on July 3. The game-changing ship will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on new 6- and 8-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. I would like to sincerely thank our guests and travel partners for their incredible patience and understanding during this very difficult period. Thanks in large part to the successful rollout of vaccines, the world of adventure is beginning to open up, and we are all excited to start delivering great vacations to our guests, who have increasingly told us they are getting vaccinated. As of today, 90% of all vacationers booking with Royal Caribbean are either vaccinated or planning to get vaccinated in time for their cruise," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "We also thank Governor DeSantis of Florida, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Broward County Mayor Steve Geller and Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority board Wayne Justice and board commissioners for their steadfast support of our industry and for providing access to vaccines to the thousands of crew on our ships off the eastern seaboard. This act of understanding and humanity has been deeply appreciated, and we are grateful for their support, which is enabling the health and safety of our guests, crew members and the communities we visit."
Royal Caribbean's newly revealed cruise 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. Whether departing Florida on two of the world's largest cruise ships, cruising from Texas to discover the best of the western Caribbean or venturing out to cooler temps to explore the wilds of Alaska, there is something for everyone.
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
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.
U.S. Health and Safety Measures
Travelers 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 travelers 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. The progress made as a result of the ongoing collaboration with and support from the state, local and federal level continues to set the stage for Royal Caribbean to return to sailing this summer as planned. The cruise line will share updates on measures with guests and travel advisors before their departure dates.
Cruises outside of those announced today will be cancelled through the end of August. Booked guests and travel partners impacted will be contacted with further details specific to their sailing, including the option to receive a full refund. For added reassurance, all vacationers who have booked by July 31 are covered by the Cruise with Confidence program. Royal Caribbean is grateful for the patience and loyalty of its guests.
*Note: 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.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.