Are Royal Caribbean’s cruises from Israel in Danger? Perhaps so according to a newspaper in Israel.

The Israel Hayom newspaper reports that the Israeli Ministry of Health has not yet approved the cruise line’s heath and safety protocols. In an article published on April 4, 2021 titled Israel’s Pampering Cruises are in Danger, the newspaper writes that:

“Some of the requirements of the shipping companies are unacceptable to Ministry of Health personnel and the chances of approving them are very low, which can lead to a change in the way cruises work – or in extreme cases cancellations, which is less likely to happen at the moment.”

The newspaper further explains that although the Royal Caribbean cruises (on the Odyssey of the Seas of the Seas) are expected to sail from Israel starting in less than two months, Israel’s “Ministry of Health has not yet approved the operation of the cruises.” It is “unclear whether holidaymakers will be able to board it.” The newspaper says that there has not yet been an official response from Royal Caribbean or other shipping companies.

According to Israel Havom:

  • Some crew members arriving in Israel have not actually yet been vaccinated, although the company has ensured that they are fully vaccinated.
  • The Ministry of Health has not yet approved all the requirements of the cruise line, including sending guests on shore excursions and other tours.
  • According to Royal Caribbean’s agent in Israel, “cruises are for Israelis only with a certificate of vaccination. The cruise ship will sail only to destinations that are already open to Israelis, such as Greece or Cyprus.

Royal Caribbean is advertising two and three night cruises from Haifa, Israel to Limassol, Cyprus starting in June and three and four night cruises to Rhodes and Mykonos, Greece starting in September. “Bookings (are) restricted to residents of Israel, guests over 16 require COVID-19 vaccine.”

This story was covered by Channel 12 News TV which stated that Israel’s Ministry of Health is warning against cruises. The television news station also mentioned that last year, coronavirus sickened Israeli citizens who traveled on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The Israeli press covered the COVID19 cases of Israel passengers who were infected on the Princess cruise ship in February of 2020 and later returned to Israel. Israel Hoyam reported that the first known case of an Israeli with the deadly contagion was on the Diamond Princess. Fifteen Israeli citizens traveled on the Diamond Princess leading to several of them becoming infection with COVID.

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Image Credits: Top and bottom – screen grabs Channel 12; Odyssey of the Seas – Royal Caribbean via Israel Hayom.