After over a year becalmed by the Coronavirus pandemic, it's all hands on deck as the CDC gives the US cruise industry the green light.
The US Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) has given approval to a series of 'test cruises' which will be departing next month.
These will be the first pleasure ships in the US to leave port with passengers since the "no-sail order" issued in March 2020 in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
While it is a cautious restart, there is no shortage of appetite for the limited places.
Royal Caribbean will be first out the docks on 20 to 22 June, followed closely by Celebrity Cruise's Celebrity Edge on 26 June.
Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas which carries just under 4000 passengers was inundated with applications.
Royal Caribbean reported more than 250,000 volunteers who applied to take part in the test cruise out of Port Miami, Florida. Tendering for "Volunteers of the Seas" on social media since November, the cruise line was grateful for the support.
"Their encouragement and unwavering confidence in us over the last 15 months have contributed to the collective effort of bringing cruising back," Royal Caribbean spokeswoman told the Washington Post.
"We look forward to having Volunteers of the Seas be part of the Royal comeback this summer."
In April, along with the proposal for "test cruises", CDC announced that it would be willing to allow cruise lines to skip testing if at least 98 per cent of crew and 95 per cent of guests were fully vaccinated.
The seven-day Celebrity Edge sailing, is the first full vaccinated Crusie to be approved, leaving Fort Lauderdale four days later.
The news was announced via Twitter by the ship's captain, Kate McCue.
"For the past 15 months our conversations with friends and loved ones about seeing the world have been accompanied by the phrase 'someday,' said Captain Kate McCue.
"I'm beyond proud and excited to say that day has arrived."
The CDC's 15-month no-sail order isn't the only longstanding obstacle to be removed this week.
On Monday, the US President's office amended a longstanding maritime law which forbade non-US flagged ships to stop at two consecutive American ports.
This opens up new opportunities for sailings, including the lucrative Alaskan region which required close cooperation with Canadian port authorities.
Due to Canada's extension of its own cruise ban through to February next year, a cruise restart would not have been possible without the amendment.
On Tuesday, Norwegian announced the addition of eight new itineraries beginning 7 Aug, 2021, including week-long voyages from Seattle to Alaska.
The Merchant Marine Act or Jones Law which dated back to the 1920s came from a more paranoid era, when America was suspicious of large amount of foreign merchant sailors landing on their shores.
Today many of the States' tourism-dependent regional economies had come to rely on cruises. The armies of international tourists are sorely missed.
The 'flags of convenience' such as Panama and the Bahamas, were widely used by the ships of international cruise lines - to navigate taxes and regulations.
The Covid 19 pandemic had only highlighted the inconvenience of the Marine act for tourist vessels, many of which are registered overseas.