Royal Caribbean Announces Return of Cruising From U.S.

Building on its upcoming return to Alaska, Royal Caribbean International has announced that six of its 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, 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 Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.

On the heels of the first cruise in Royal Caribbean’s return to the U.S. will be the debut of the brand-new Odyssey of the Seas on July 3. The ship will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on new six- and eight-night Caribbean cruises—and will 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.

Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, thanked guests and travel partners for their patience in a press statement. He also noted that the restart is “in large part” due to the successful rollout of vaccines, adding that 90 percent of guests booking with Royal Caribbean are either already vaccinated or plan to be in time for their cruise. He additionally thanked Florida Ron DeSantis, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Broward County Mayor Steve Geller and Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority board Wayne Justice, along with board commissioners for their support of the industry.

Royal Caribbean’s full summer lineup:

  • Freedom of the Seas – Three- and four-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Miami, starting July 2
  • Odyssey of the Seas – Six- and eight-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, starting July 3
  • Serenade of the Seas – Seven-night Alaska sailings from Seattle, starting July 19
  • Allure of the Seas – Seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, starting August 8
  • Ovation of the Seas – Seven-night Alaska itineraries from Seattle, starting August 13 
  • Symphony of the Seas – Seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami, starting August 14
  • Independence of the Seas – Seven-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas, starting August 15
  • Mariner of the Seas – Three- and four-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Port Canaveral, starting August 23

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.      

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 August 15, the Oasis Class ship will set sail on seven-night itineraries to the Western Mediterranean and visit such destinations as 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.

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 August 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


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