Royal Caribbean is testing the waters of the new age of cruise ships.
One of the world’s largest cruise operators plans to launch the first “fully vaccinated” cruise ship amid the global pandemic, when Odyssey of the Seas makes its maiden voyage from Israel in May.
Royal Caribbean announced the cruise on Monday, its first cruise from Israel, with the new Odyssey setting sail from Haifa for three- to seven-night tours of the Greek islands and Cyprus later this spring. Reservations open on March 9 and are only available to residents of Israel during this time.
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“Together with Israel’s health and tourism authorities, Royal Caribbean will be the first to offer fully vaccinated voyages, where both crew and guests over the age of 16 will be vaccinated against COVID-19,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement from press announcing the cruise. “Details on additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Israel and Royal Caribbean will be announced at a later date.”
The cruise line did not disclose whether children and teens under the age of 16 would be welcome on board, or the exact dates when the Odyssey will set sail in May.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the announcement of the revitalization of tourism in his country.
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“Thanks to the millions of vaccines we have brought, I am proud that Israel is the first country in the world to launch Royal Caribbean’s new flagship. Royal Caribbean’s decision to come to Israel is a significant expression of confidence in our policy.” Netanyahu said. it said in a statement. “This is an important economic and tourist moment for the State of Israel.”
“Israel is a global model of success,” he continued. “We will continue our program – the ‘green passport’ – so that we can come 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. “.
The Associated Press reports that Israel has vaccinated more than half of its population against COVID-19 in one of the world’s “most successful vaccination campaigns” since late December.
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On February 21, Israel launched an inaugural “green pass” program through a mobile app, The Guardian reports. The app allows people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have “presumed immunity” after contracting the viral disease to show proof of it, and enter gyms, hotels, swimming pools, places of worship and concerts. Indoor dining in restaurants and bars is also scheduled to debut on the app in early March.
Israel recently finalized agreements with Greece and Cyprus to recognize each other’s green badges in a bid to boost tourism, according to AP, by making leisure travel such as the upcoming Royal Caribbean Odyssey voyages possible.
Associated Press contributed to this report.