Residents of Israel will be the first to enjoy one of the world's largest passenger ships during Odyssey OTS' inaugural season starting in May 2021. The ship will offer a combination of 3- to 7-night voyages leaving roundtrip from Haifa-Tel Aviv. The Eastern Mediterranean itineraries visit only Greek islands/ports - Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Piraeus-Athens, Limassol Cyprus.
RCI will be the first company to offer fully vaccinated cruises, from Israel where both crew members and passengers above the age of 16 will be vaccinated against Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Details on the health and safety measures to be implemented by the country and RCI will be announced at a later date.
Following the announcement, Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel's Prime Minister) said:
"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. 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," 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."
Michael Bayley (RCI's President and CEO) said:
"We are thrilled to debut Royal Caribbean cruises from Israel with our newest and most innovative ship, Odyssey of the Seas. 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. 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."