With the return of the first cruise ships out of Miami in late June, the US city wants to reassert its title of “cruise capital of the world”.
No place in the world is more closely tied to the cruise industry than Miami. PortMiami is indeed the largest hub for cruises in the world. In 2019, the port welcomed 5.59 million cruise guests on 1,200 docked ships. Close to two dozen companies are linking Miami primarily to the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought the industry to a stillstand in 2020. Fortunately, 2021 is seen as the year of recovery.
On June 22, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas ship returned to Port Miami after setting sail on a simulated voyage and becoming the first ship to sail with passengers from the US since the pandemic began.
The three-day cruise with about 600 employee volunteers onboard was set to test some of the new health and safety measures outlined by US health authorities. Since July, cruises are back on the agenda. Royal Caribbean welcomed its first two cruises to the Bahamas and Western/Eastern Caribbean islands in July and August. One more cruise is planned in September.
On August 15, Norwegian Cruise Line officially restarted operations with its flagship vessel. Norwegian Gem beginning its first Carribean trip. The ship will be offering a series of week-long cruises to the Caribbean and four-day cruises to the Bahamas through October 17, 2021.