Royal Caribbean announced this Monday that its new ship, Odyssey of the Seas, will debut next May with cruises from Israel to the Greek islands and Cyprus, a relief for this leader of a punished sector, which was stopped almost all of 2020 and has not yet taken off. in 2021 due to the pandemic.
In collaboration with the Israeli health and tourism authorities, Royal Caribbean will be the first company in the sector to offer trips with passengers and crew fully vaccinated against covid-19, according to a statement published today in Miami.
On March 9, tickets will go on sale for these 3 to 7-night trips to the Greek islands and Cyprus, which will start in May from the Israeli port of Haifa.
“Sailing from Israel is an opportunity that we have been looking at for quite some time. We greatly appreciate the Government of Israel for its collaboration and trust in us to provide memorable cruise experiences to its residents,” said Royal Caribbean.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says in the statement that he is proud that Israel is the first country in the world to launch the new Royal Caribbean flagship and links it to the “thousands of vaccines” that have been supplied in Israel. leader in vaccination against covid-19.
“Royal Caribbean’s decision to come to Israel is a significant expression of confidence in our policy. This is an important economic and tourism moment for the State of Israel,” adds Netanyahu.
“Israeli travelers will seek to get away, relax in complete peace of mind and enjoy the travel experiences they are missing so much, and that is what we do best,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.
The Odyssey is designed for all types of travelers to enjoy an unforgettable vacation, with a variety of new and exclusive experiences from bow to stern, the statement said, which also includes statements from Greece’s Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis, from the Vice Minister of Cyprus, Savvas Perdios.
“We are very pleased with today’s announcement as our recent travel agreement with Israel is already paying off, and more people will have the opportunity to have unique experiences in our beautiful destinations and islands,” said Theoharis.
The Cypriot Deputy Minister of Tourism said that “Cyprus supports the cruise industry and is pleased to assist the industry on its road to recovery.”
Middle East region
The Odyssey will be the first Quantum Ultra class ship to have a homeport in the Middle East region. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
They established last October that in order to resume their trips from ports in this country, companies must comply with the requirements of the Conditional Navigation Order. This order makes it necessary for the companies “to take adequate measures for the health and safety of the crew, while increasing the capacity of their laboratories to test future passengers.”
The CDC alluded to the “evidence” that cruise travel “facilitates and amplifies the transmission of covid-19, even when ships sail with a reduced passenger capacity”, and therefore with the risk of transmission of the disease in the communities where ships dock.
The large companies in the sector have been delaying month after month the resumption of their activities from the US, their main market. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the shutdown of the sector in 2020 meant the loss of $ 77 billion in global economic activity, 518,000 jobs and $ 23 billion in wages.