The brand new Odyssey of the Seas will be sailing from Haifa, Israel in summer 2021, Royal Caribbean International has announced in a press release.
According to the press release, Royal Caribbean will offer Israelis a combination of three- to seven-night escapes visiting the Greek Isles and Cyprus. The new sailings will go on sale on March 9.
The roundtrip sailings from Haifa will include visits to destinations in the Mediterranean, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Limassol, Cyprus, the cruise line said.
Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, said he was “thrilled” to debut the cruises from Israel.
“Israeli travelers will be looking to get away, relax with total peace of mind, and enjoy the travel experiences they are missing dearly; and that is what we do best,” he said.
“Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had our sights on for quite some time. We greatly appreciate the government of Israel for their collaboration and confidence in us to deliver memorable cruise experiences to their residents, and look forward to delivering on that promise aboard our newest ship – the first ‘Green Island’ at sea,” he added.
According to the press release, residents of Israel will be the first guests to cruise on Odyssey during its inaugural season. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, said this became possible thanks to an effective nationwide vaccination program.
“This is an important economic, touristic moment for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Israel is a global model of success. We will continue our program – the ‘green passport’ – so that we can get out of the COVID-19 virus in peace. Just as we made Israel the world champion in vaccines, we will make it the world champion in economics and tourism in the post-Corona era.”
In conjunction with Israel’s health and tourism authorities, Royal Caribbean will be the first to offer fully vaccinated sailings, where both crew and guests above the age of 16 will be vaccinated against COVID-19, the cruise line said.
Details on the additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Israel and Royal Caribbean will be announced at a later date.
The Odyssey of the Seas left Meyer Werft on Feb. 27 for her Ems River Conveyance en route to Eemshaven, Netherlands.