Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean have both confirmed their return to the seas of the Caribbean in June.
The announcements are the first move in getting cruising back on track since the industry was turned full astern in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Celebrity Cruises marked the announcement by confirming the ship at the forefront of the fleet's US$500 million modernisation program, the Celebrity Millennium, will be based in the stunning port of St Maarten.
Royal Caribbean International has also announced a new homeport for the June launch, Nassau, in the Bahamas.
Both companies say their ships will sail with vaccinated crew and will be available to vaccinated adult guests and children under the age of 18 with a negative test result within 72 hours of embarkation.
St Maarten Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever said having Celebrity Cruises based in their port will provide a massive boost for the local economy.
"It's an historic agreement, the fruit of continuous dialogue and a testament to the strength of our longstanding relationship," de Weever said.
Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said she was "forever grateful for the support and collaboration" of the St. Maarten Government.
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