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Royal Caribbean is back sailing the Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International's Adventure of the Seas set off on the cruise line's first Western Hemisphere sailing in more than 15 months on Saturday.

The ship set sail from Nassau, Bahamas, with more than 1,000 passengers. The entire crew and all guests over the age of 16 -- 94% of people on the ship -- had been vaccinated for Covid-19, Royal said. The remaining 6% were children younger than 16. Vaccines will be required for passengers 12 and older, starting Aug. 1.

Saturday's sailing launched the ship's summer lineup of seven-night sailings to Royal's private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, as well as Grand Bahama Island and Cozumel, Mexico.

In addition to the vaccine requirement, Royal said, other safety protocols are in place. For instance, young, unvaccinated passengers must undergo testing. Its ships are also undergoing increased cleaning and sanitizing.

Royal Caribbean International president and CEO Michael Bayley in a statement called the sailing "a start in the tremendous step forward our guests have been waiting for and we've been working toward for more than 15 months."

"We are excited to welcome back our guests and crew, and help our Caribbean family regain the benefits of tourism their communities depend on," he added.

Royal Caribbean plans to begin sailing from the U.S. again on July 2.

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