TEL AVIV — Royal Caribbean International is preparing to offer cruises from Israel for the first time. Cruises will begin June 2 and continue through to the Jewish holidays at the end of September.
The cruises will adopt Israel’s green passport documentation and guests and crew will only be allowed on board, if they have had two COVID vaccination jabs, or have a certificate of recovery from the virus.
Royal Caribbean will offer three and seven night cruises from and back to Haifa via Cyprus and Greece. The cruises will call at Limassol, Athens, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini and Mykonos on one of Royal Caribbean’s newer cruise ships — Odyssey of the Seas.
According to Sunorama, Royal Caribbean’s representative in Israel, the total number of places on all the cruises leaving from Haifa will be 70,000 tourists with prices beginning at $600 for three nights.
The cruise sector has been hit hard by the COVID crisis with the passengers trapped on board the Diamond Princess in Japan remaining as one of the traumatic images of the pandemic.
Sunorama’s parent company Aviation Links believes that at least 50,000 Israelis will book on one of the 25 to 30 planned cruises, generating sales of about $50 million.