Royal Caribbean International on Tuesday announced that it will be the first cruise company to offer sailings from Israel for travelers that have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus (Covid-19).
Sailings from Israel will begin in May with the global cruise line offering Israelis a combination of 3- to 7-night escapes visiting the Greek Isles and Cyprus on board its brand-new ship, Odyssey of the Seas.
Residents of Israel will be the first guests to cruise on Odyssey during its inaugural season.
“Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had our sights on for quite some time,” said Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley.
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.
Details on the additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Israel and Royal Caribbean are expected to be announced at a later date.
Israeli PM: We will continue the ‘green passport’
In an announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to an an “important economic, touristic moment” for the State of Israel.
“Thanks to the millions of vaccines we have brought, I am proud that Israel will be the first country in the world to launch Royal Caribbean’s new flagship,” Netanyahu said, underlining that Royal Caribbean’s decision to come to Israel is a significant expression of confidence in Israel’s policy.
“We will continue our program – the ‘green passport’ – so that we can get out of the Covid-19 virus in peace,” he added.
The Odyssey of the Seas itineraries, roundtrip from Haifa, Israel, will include visits to idyllic isles and destinations in the Mediterranean, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens in Greece and Limassol in Cyprus.
It is reminded that bilateral agreements have been signed between Greece and Israel, and Cyprus and Israel which are expected to pave the way for a return to travel in Covid times.
Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis expressed his support to all the efforts for the resumption of cruising in Greece and the surrounding area.
“We are very happy with today’s announcement as our recent travel agreement with Israel is already bringing results, and more people will have the opportunity to have unique experiences in our beautiful destinations and islands,” Theoharis said.
The new sailings will go on sale on Tuesday, March 9.
Navigator Travel is the exclusive agent of Royal Caribbean Cruises in Greece.