First cruise ship sets sail from North America since 2020

   June 7, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

Celebrity's ship Millennium became the first cruise liner to sail with passengers from North America in over a year.

The boat pulled away from Philipsburg (St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles) on Saturday, June 5, with 95% of its passengers and the entire crew fully vaccinated, making it the biggest COVID-vaccinated voyage in the world so far.

Millennium's Captain Theo Zakkas cried when vacationers boarded for the first time.

Both a first for the cruise industry in North America and the first of Celebrity Cruises' fleet to return to sailing, Millennium embarked on a 7-night itinerary visiting the ABC islands of Aruba, Barbados, and Curacao.

All adult guests onboard were required to show proof of vaccination prior to sailing as well as present negative PCR tests to enter St Maarten and Barbados.

The vessel (which has max passenger capacity 2590) is now operating at ~30% capacity. No masks or social distancing are required due to the low occupancy.

Celebrity Millennium cruise ship

The ship’s operations are different than the pre-pandemic. The usually crowded muster drill was replaced with an online version. Self-serve buffets are no longer an option.

The infirmary is staffed with 2 doctors and 11 nurses. Ventilators have been added onboard as well as isolation rooms in the event someone tests positive for COVID.

Americans onboard Celebrity Millennium will have to get tested on the liner before flying back to the U.S.