Disney Cruise Line is the second cruise line to receive approval from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to operate a simulated cruise from a US port as a first step towards resuming service.
The trip scheduled for the end of June is also the first cruise scheduled to depart from Port Canaveral, Florida.
“We have received news that the CDC has approved our application to organize a simulation cruise before resuming normal operations,” Disney Signature Experiences President Thomas Mazloum wrote in a letter to employees.
“This is a critically important milestone for Disney Cruise Line and I want to thank everyone who has supported our return to service plans with such dedication and hard work.”
Disney plans to set sail on its first cruise from a US port aboard its 130,000 GT Disney Dream. The ship will operate, as required by the CDC, a 2-night cruise departing on June 29 and returning on July 1.
All passengers will be volunteers. Simulated cruises are required as a test of health and safety protocols.
Disney has not yet announced its plans to resume cruises in the United States: in mid-May it had canceled all cruises aboard its Disney Wonder cruise ship until July 12, while cruises on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy had been canceled until July 31, 2021.
The fourth ship in the line, Disney Magic , is expected to operate UK cruises from July 15 from the Port of Liverpool until early October.
The Disney Dream normally houses about 2,500 adults with a total capacity, including children, up to 4,000 passengers. The company has not announced what the capacity restrictions will be when it resumes sailing from Florida.
Meanwhile, the governor’s office continues to insist that Florida will not allow cruise lines to ask for evidence of vaccinations.
The governor signed an executive order banning companies from requiring vaccine passports and now denies rumors that Florida could exempt cruise lines from the order.
Previously, the CDC had granted Royal Caribbean International permission to operate the first test cruise from Miami and Royal Caribbean’s premium brand Celebrity Cruises to resume sailing at the end of June, requiring vaccination of passengers and crew.
Carnival Cruise Line announced plans to resume sailing from Miami and Galveston in July, but did not announce that it has received permission to run simulated cruises.