Royal Caribbean announced a selection of seven-night summer cruises to the Bahamas and Mexico with a catch: All passengers over 18 must have received the coronavirus vaccine.
“We are excited to get back to delivering memorable vacations in the Caribbean, gradually and safely,” said a statement released by Royal Caribbean. “The vaccines are clearly a game changer for all of us, and with the number of vaccinations and their impact growing rapidly, we believe starting with cruises for vaccinated adult guests and crew is the right choice.
“As we move forward, we expect this requirement and other measures will inevitably evolve over time,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “The opportunity to homeport in The Bahamas is a testament to the tremendous partners the government and the people of the island nation have been to us for more than 50 years. We are grateful for the confidence that they have in us and our commitment to a healthy and happy return to sailing.”
Passengers under the age of 18 will not need to receive a vaccine but are required to submit a negative coronavirus test.
The new cruise offerings will begin sailing on June 12th from the cruise line’s new homeport in Nassau, Bahamas. Cruises will sail from Nassau to destinations such as the Grand Bahama, Cozumel, Mexico, and the Royal Caribbean’s private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.
“As we anticipate a promising return to a vibrant tourism industry, news that the cruise industry is going to begin homeporting in The Bahamas is exciting. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of passengers will experience Nassau or Grand Bahama in ways they never had the opportunity to before,” said Hubert A. Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas.
“I am especially pleased that Royal Caribbean, with whom we have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship for more than 50 years, selected The Bahamas as a homeport when sailing resumes. This is truly a new day for tourism. It should inspire many small- to medium-sized businesses, tour operators, taxi drivers, restaurants and retailers to prepare for brighter days ahead, the best we have ever had,” concluded Minnis.
Guests will need to follow any travel requirements of the countries they are visiting, such as presenting a negative test before traveling and after arrival.