Royal Caribbean Group has extended its brands’ US cruise pause through to the end of June, although boss Richard Fain believes an early-July Independence Day restart is a "realistic goal".
All Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises’ ex-US sailings, due to depart up to and including 30 June, have been cancelled, the group confirmed on Thursday (8 April).
The move excludes all sailings onboard RCI and Celebrity ships due to homeport outside the US this summer, as well as Silversea’s Silver Moon, Silver Origin and Silver Explorer.
"Safety is the first priority, and we know cruising can be safe, as we have seen in Europe and Asia," said Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chair and chief executive.
"The rising number of Americans who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, layered on top of the rigorous health and safety measures we are implementing under the Healthy Sail Panel’s guidance, enables us to create a safe environment to take a cruise.
"We strongly believe President Biden’s stated goal for society to reopen in time for Independence Day [4 July] is a realistic goal."
Over the past month, the group has announced eight of its ships – starting in June – will welcome guests starting under new science-backed Covid protocols and vaccination requirements.
These include RCI’s Adventure of the Seas sailing ex-Nassau, Vision of the Seas ex-Bermuda, Jewel of the Seas ex-Cyprus and Anthem of the Seas ex-Southampon.
Celebrity Millennium, meanwhile, will sail from St Maarten starting 5 June, Celebrity Apex from Athens starting 19 June and Celebrity Silhouette from Southampton starting 3 July.
Elsewhere, Silver Moon will sail from Athens starting 18 June. Quantum of the Seas will continue to sail in Singapore, as it has since December, and Odyssey of the Seas from Haifa, Israel, starting 2 June.