Cruise Ship Sets Sail From North America For The First Time Since 2020

By Bill Galluccio

June 7, 2021

For the first time in over a year, a cruise ship with 500 passengers set sail from a port in North America. Celebrity Millennium departed from Philipsburg, St. Maarten, on Saturday (June 5) and will make stops at Barbados, Aruba, and Curacao, during its seven-day voyage.

"Today, we sail, again! This is such a significant moment for our company, our industry, and the Caribbean. That this day has finally arrived for our guests and our crew is truly special -- beyond words, really," Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said in a statement. "What an honor to now be the first to enthusiastically say, once again -- 'Welcome Aboard!'"

All crew members of the ship are fully vaccinated, as are 95% of the passengers. Celebrity Cruises said that children who were unable to get vaccinated had to provide proof of a negative test before boarding.

"This is the first big ship sailing in the Caribbeans, so it feels pretty special," Colleen McDaniel, the editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic who is aboard Celebrity Millennium, told CNN. "The energy and excitement here is so powerful. The crew is so eager to have people finally on board. So many people were clapping, you can tell this finally feels normal again, and it's making everyone very happy."

While the Celebrity Millennium usually departs from a U.S. port, the cruise line decided to leave from St. Maarten because they are not cleared to operate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Celebrity Cruises expects to be cleared in the coming weeks and is preparing another ship, the Celebrity Edge, to depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on June 26.

Photo: Getty Images

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