Royal Caribbean International, which operates the biggest cruise ships in the world, including “Symphony of the Seas,” said on Tuesday it will restart sailing in September, and the complete fleet of ships would get underway by spring 2022. Still, they did not mention the new Delta variant that’s surging in Florida.
The next group of returning ships will set sail in September with Oasis of the Seas’ sailing from the New York area – a 7-night itinerary to the cruise line’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas.
“More than 110,000 guests have cruised with us since December, and they’ve done so safely,” said Michael Bayley, president, and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “It’s been incredible to see families come together again, and to know we’ll soon safely welcome more when our entire fleet is back by spring 2022 is wonderful.”
The announcement, however, made no mention of the new Delta variant of COVID-19, which is seeing a sharp surge in cases in the company’s most profitable cruise region, Florida.
According to the New York Times, Florida is now heading toward its worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic. According to an epidemiologist who has been tracking the virus’s reach, the state is still about one month away from its peak.
“Short term and long term, the cases are going to explode,” Edwin Michael, a professor of epidemiology at USF in Tampa, said in an interview on Monday. “We are predicting that the cases will be peaking the first week of September.”
Royal Caribbean International currently requires all crew members and guests who are of the eligible age for vaccination to be fully inoculated against the COVID-19 virus.
(Reporting by Aditi Sebastian; Editing by Maju Samuel)
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