Celebrity Cruises is first cruise line to receive CDC approval to sail with paying passengers in June

Morgan Hines

Cruising in U.S. waters can officially resume in June.

The first large cruise ship has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to sail in June. Celebrity Cruises, a subsidiary Royal Caribbean Group, is the first cruise line to receive approval to sail one of its ships with paying passengers on board.

The Celebrity Edge will depart on a seven night cruise from Fort Lauderdale on June 26 sailing to the Caribbean. 

"SOMEDAY IS HERE," Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said on Twitter on Wednesday, announcing the resumption of cruising on the Edge.

"CDC has provisionally approved one cruise ship from Royal Caribbean to begin restricted revenue sailing in June, following a request for a conditional sailing certificate and the submission of an accurate and complete port agreement," Caitlin Shockey, spokesperson for the CDC told USA TODAY Wednesday.

The first new Celebrity Cruises ship in six years, Celebrity Edge, also is the line's biggest vessel ever.

In order to skip test sailings – which Celebrity's sister line, Royal Caribbean International, received approval for one ship to carry out Tuesday – Celebrity Cruises has agreed to meet the CDC's requirement to have 95% of passengers and 95% of crew vaccinated. 

Celebrity plans to exceed that requirement with 100% of crew vaccinated. Passengers over 16 will be required to have been fully vaccinated two weeks prior to boarding, Susan Lomax, spokesperson for Celebrity, told USA TODAY Wednesday. Starting in August, that requirement includes all passengers ages 12 and up. 

Once the ship hits 5% capacity of unvaccinated passengers during bookings, passengers under 16 who are unvaccinated will not be able to purchase a ticket, Lomax said.