Freedom of the Seas file photo: Creative Commons

Cruise Ship Departs U.S. on First Simulated Cruise

Mike Schuler
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June 21, 2021

Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas departed PortMiami, Florida on Sunday on a CDC-required simulated cruise, marking a major step in the return of cruising in the United States.

The Freedom of the Seas has about 600 non-paying passengers who have all volunteered for the voyage meant test the company’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, as required by U.S. Centers Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. All passengers and crew on the Freedom of the Seas are fully vaccinated.

The ship’s departure marks the first time a cruise ship has returned to sailing since COVID-19 put a hold on the industry back in March 2020.

Freedom of the Seas is expected to become Royal Caribbean’s first cruise ship to return to service in the U.S. when it departs Miami on July 2 for a special Fourth of July weekend sailing. Royal Caribbean says eligible guests are “strongly recommended” to be fully vaccinated prior to setting sail.

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