Now that we are a year into the pandemic, we know how difficult traveling has become. With constant rules changes, new regulations and the constant enforcement and repealing of restrictions, travel has quickly changed from the best thing in our lives to something that can be a bit of a nightmare. It’s the same for businesses too, having to deal with restrictions that have simply left many unable to operate.
Yet where there are problems, there are solutions too – and we have started to see cruise lines think outside of the box by changing their home ports in order to be able to restart travel. Here’s a look at why you might not have to wait that long for your next vacation on the waves.
At present, many of the major cruise lines have their home ports in the USA. Whilst this makes sense in a typical year, with many American travelers able to access these ports and begin their journeys from there, we know this is far from a typical year. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a no-sail order in March of last year, an order which has been extended and, despite the CDC stating that it would take a “phased approach to resuming cruise ship passenger operations in US waters,” a plan has yet to surface.
However, major cruise lines Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean have found a way around this. Rather than leaving from the US and being subjected to the CDC’s regulation, the cruise lines have moved their homeports to places in the Caribbean, allowing them to resume their cruises and circumvent any US-based regulations.
Royal Caribbean’s New Homeport – Information for Travelers
Royal Caribbean has announced its return to action with seven-night cruises this summer on its ship Adventure of the Seas, leaving from its new homeport of Nassau in The Bahamas. The journey will take passengers to various destinations in The Bahamas, including Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay, as well as visiting Cozumel in Mexico.
The route, which is due to start on June 12th, will be available to book from March 24th. Both the staff and the passengers on the cruise will need to be vaccinated. Many cruise lines have started to make this a requirement, and Royal Caribbean themselves have previously made it a requirement for their trips in Israel. At present, US travelers heading to The Bahamas must have a negative Covid-19 test taken five days before arrival, as well as applying for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa.
Celebrity Cruises’ New Homeport – Information for Travelers
Celebrity Cruises’, a sister-company of Royal Caribbean, has also moved its homeport to circumvent CDC regulations, relocating to St. Maarten in the Caribbean. Two cruise offerings will be available, both taking place on the Celebrity Millennium ship, and will start from June 5th. One itinerary will see passengers visit Aruba, Curaçao and Barbados, whilst a second will head to Tortola, St. Lucia and Barbados.
The crew on board will all be vaccinated, whilst the cruise will only be available to vaccinated adults and children under the age of 18. Americans heading to St. Maarten to take part in the cruise will need to have a negative PCR-test in order to be able to enter.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories