First test cruise in the USA aboard Royal Caribbean's ship Freedom of the Seas

   May 26, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

RCI-Royal Caribbean International is the first company to receive approval from the USA's CDC agency (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for a test cruise in US waters. 

CDC has provisionally approved one RCI ship to begin "simulated voyages" in June 2021, following a request from the company to conduct a test cruise and the submission of a complete port agreement.  

Freedom of the Seas will be allowed to sail from June 20 to 22 out of PortMiami Florida carrying volunteer passengers. Vaccine requirements are not mandatory for test voyages per CDC's Framework for Conditional Sailing Order. 

Freedom Of The Seas cruise ship

"Cruise testers" have to be adults (18+ years of age) but are not required to be vaccinated against COVID, though if they are not, they must have written documentation from a health care provider or have to self certify that they are not at a heightened risk for COVID, the CDC said.

All volunteers must agree to be evaluated for COVID symptoms before embarking, as well as after disembarking along with an agreement to be tested for COVID 3 to 5 days after the cruise.