The ship will carry vaccinated crew and be available to vaccinated adults and to children under 18, all with a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of embarkation. The PCR test is also a St. Maarten requirement.
According to Celebrity, thousands of its crew have already been vaccinated in their home countries and the number will grow as the return to service nears.
Two different itineraries
Celebrity Millennium will offer two different seven-night round-trips — Aruba, Curaçao and Barbados, and Tortola, St. Lucia and Barbados — departing through August. Bookings open March 25.
Fares start at $1,999 per person for a veranda stateroom, port/government fees additional. Flights must be booked through FlightsByCelebrity.com and prices include airfare and taxes.
'Beginning of the end'
'Returning to the Caribbean after more than a year away is such a significant moment for us. It marks the measured beginning of the end of what has been a uniquely challenging time for everyone,' Celebrity President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said.
'We have been in constant contact with the leadership of St. Maarten these past months to support each other and share learnings and best practices. That we’re able to offer people the opportunity to safely vacation on board the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium is incredible, and that we will sail from the magical island of St. Maarten is very special. I am forever grateful for the support and collaboration of the St. Maarten government.'
Historic homeporting agreement
St. Maarten Tourism Minister Ludmila de Weever said having a major line homeport in St. Maarten is a 'significant economic milestone.'
She added: 'It’s an historic agreement, the fruit of continuous dialogue and a testament to the strength of our longstanding relationship.'
According to de Weever, the homeporting ship will 'help rejuvenate our economy and drive opportunities for our people.'
Home-based travel network Cruise Planners was quick to applaud Celebrity's leadership
'I am so thrilled they have announced a safe return to sailing option for American cruisers,' said Vicky Garcia, COO of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. 'Celebrity has found a creative solution with a beautiful Eastern Caribbean itinerary while still delivering a great on-board experience.'
Curated and small-group excursions
The line plans to offer a range of curated tours 'for all interests and price points' at every destination. Private Journeys and Small Group Discovery Tours will also be available for passengers who wish to explore the destinations with only family members or traveling companions.
The 2000-built Celebrity Millennium was modernized in 2019 under the Celebrity Revolution program and has new staterooms, freshly appointed restaurants and lounges, a redesigned spa and The Retreat, a private sun deck and redesigned lounge for suite guests.