Royal Caribbean has changed the course of the debut for their latest cruise ship, Odyssey of the Seas. Starting in May 2021, the second Quantum Ultra Class ship will begin sailing from Israel with a combination of 3- to 7-night escapes visiting the Greek Isles and Cyprus.
The itineraries, roundtrip from Haifa, Israel, will include visits to idyllic isles and destinations in the Mediterranean, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Limassol, Cyprus.
Prior to the new announcement, Odyssey of the Seas was scheduled to sail from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy throughout the summer. Before that, Royal Caribbean also canceled the original debut from Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November 2020, after delays pushed back the ship’s completion until 2021.
Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International 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.”
Residents of Israel will be the first guests to cruise on Odyssey during its inaugural season. The innovative ship is designed to make for a memorable holiday for every kind of traveler, with a variety of new and signature experiences from bow to stern. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea, highlights on board include a two-level pool deck designed for downtime under the sun and stars, SeaPlex – the two-level indoor and outdoor activity complex that is a high-adrenaline playground for all ages, and a lineup of complimentary and specialty restaurants primed to please every palate with cuisine from around the world. And entertainment throughout the ship will be punctuated by high-tech signature productions in the Royal Theater and Two70, where art and multimedia merge for jaw-dropping performances found only on Odyssey.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 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.”
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. Details on the additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Israel and Royal Caribbean will be announced at a later date.
Odyssey of the Seas will come to life with game-changing, technological innovations like the next-generation SeaPlex, which will see the addition of this venue’s first Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade with club-level views of the competition below; a reimagined Adventure Ocean kids program, and the maxed-out Social180 teen lounge with gaming consoles, music, movies and an outdoor wraparound deck with ocean views. Guests will also enjoy a variety of dining venues, including Teppanyaki, serving East Asian flavors in a traditional Japanese style; and the cruise line’s first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, which offers rustic Italian dishes with a contemporary flair. Up top, Odyssey’s vibrant next-level pool deck will feature two open-air, resort-style pools and four whirlpools with shady casitas and hammocks. Also on deck will be several guest favorites, including the FlowRider surf simulator, skydiving with RipCord by iFly, the iconic North Star all-glass observation capsule that boasts 360-degree views from 300 feet above sea level, and robot bartenders at Bionic Bar.
For more information on Royal Caribbean’s first cruises from Israel, guests and travel advisors can visit www.royalcaribbean.com/il.