Royal Caribbean International
Odyssey of the Seas is currently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany
Royal Caribbean International is to begin sailing from Israel for the first time in May, with the cruise line’s new ship Odyssey of the Seas sailing roundtrip voyages in its inaugural season from the port of Haifa.
In partnership with Israel’s health and tourism authorities, Royal Caribbean will be the first to offer fully vaccinated sailings from the country. Both crew and guests above the age of 16 will be inoculated against Covid-19.
“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,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel. “Royal Caribbean's decision to come to Israel is a significant expression of confidence in our policy. This is an important economic, touristic moment for the State of Israel. We will continue our programme – the ‘green passport’ – so that we can get out of the Covid-19 virus in peace.”
The three- to seven-night itineraries will include calls at the Greek destinations of Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, as well as Limassol in Cyprus.
“We are very happy with today’s announcement, as our recent travel agreement with Israel is already bringing results,” said Haris Theoharis, Greece’s minister of tourism. “More people will have the opportunity to have unique experiences in our beautiful destinations and islands.”
Odyssey of the Seas is currently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. She will feature a new design for the SeaPlex activity complex, with the addition of the Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, a reimagined Adventure Ocean children’s programme and the Social180 teen lounge. The vessel will also have a two-level pool deck with two open-air pools and four whirlpools, as well as the cruise line’s first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar. Odyssey of the Seas will be the first Quantum Ultra-class ship to homeport in the region.
“We are thrilled to debut Royal Caribbean cruises from Israel with our newest and most innovative ship, Odyssey of the Sea,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “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.”