While much of the cruise industry remains docked because of the pandemic, Royal Caribbean International announced that it will offer its first trips setting sail from Israel for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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.

“Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had our sights on for quite some time. 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,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

Tickets go on sale March 9 for voyages beginning in May.

The Miami, Florida-based global cruise line will offer a combination of three- to seven-night “escapes” setting sail from Haifa to the Greek Isles and Cyprus aboard its brand-new Quantum Ultra Class ship, Odyssey of the Seas. That new vessel can accommodate up to 4,284 passengers and 1,551 crew members.

Passengers will have a variety of dining options; a two-level pool deck including two pools, a kids’ aqua park and four whirlpools; a skydiving simulator and surf simulator; sports bar and arcade; theater and multimedia shows; an all-glass observation capsule affording 360-degree views from 300 feet above sea level; and a Bionic Bar staffed by robotic bartenders.

The roundtrip itineraries from Haifa will include visits to Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens in Greece, and Limassol in Cyprus.

“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 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A worker paints the side of the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas Cruise ship, which is the world’s largest passenger liner, as it is docked at PortMiami after returning to port from a Eastern Caribbean cruise as the world deals with the coronavirus outbreak on March 14, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Royal Caribbean’s Israeli plans are part of what the industry is terming a “phased resumption” of the business, the Cruise Lines International Association reports.

“Following the global pause in cruise operations that took place in mid-March 2020, cruises resumed sailing in parts of Europe, Asia and the South Pacific beginning in July 2020,” the association reports in its 2021 outlook for the industry. “From early July through mid-December 2020, there were more than 200 sailings. The success of these initial sailings demonstrates that the new protocols are working as designed — to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 among passengers, crew and the destinations cruise ships visit. The industry is on a path to resumption in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and elsewhere in 2021.”

Royal Caribbean plans luxury cruises from Israel for fully vaccinated appeared first on ISRAEL21c.

(Edited for Zenger News by Matthew B. Hall and David Martosko)



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