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Royal Caribbean surprise – Odyssey of the Seas sailing from Israel – first fully vaccinated cruises.

March 4, 2021 Cruise News No Comments Email Email

In what is considered by some to be a surprise move, Royal Caribbean has announced that the brand, spanking new Odyssey of the Seas will be sailing from Haifa, Israel in the summer of 2021, but I suppose, really not that surprising when one considers that Israel’s coronavirus vaccine scheme is the fastest rollout in the world.

Royal Caribbean says that it will offer Israelis a combination of three to seven night cruises, visiting the Greek Isles and Cyprus, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Limassol, Cyprus, with the new sailings going on sale on March 9, but of course sadly not available to Australians, due to the international travel ban.

Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, saying he was “thrilled” to debut the cruises from Israel, and “Israeli travellers 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 added, “Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had in our sights on for quite some time,” and “We greatly appreciate the government of Israel for their collaboration and confidence in us to deliver memorable cruise experiences to their residents and we look forward to delivering on that promise aboard our newest ship – the first ‘Green Island’ at sea”.

Royal Caribbean says that residents of Israel will be the first guests to cruise on Odyssey during its inaugural season, with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, saying this became possible thanks to an effective nationwide vaccination program, adding, “This is an important economic, touristic moment for the State of Israel,” adding, “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.”

Royal Caribbean says that by working closely with Israel’s health and tourism authorities, Royal Caribbean is also the first cruise line to offer fully vaccinated sailings, where both crew and guests above the age of 16 will be vaccinated against COVID-19 and I anticipate and also hope that there will be many more to follow with Royal Caribbean and also other cruise lines.

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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