Photo Credit: Matt Hechter / Flash 90
A young man captures the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea with his cell phone in Tel Aviv

The well-known Royal Caribbean cruise company is planning to debut its new “Odyssey of the Seas” cruise ship this spring when the company returns to making people happy while sailing the seas of the planet.

The very first vessel to set sail will depart from Israel this May, the company announced, on three to seven-night cruises departing from Haifa to the Greek islands and Cyprus.

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“Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had our sights on for quite some time,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

“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.”

There is a caveat, however.

Only Israeli residents living in Israel and who are vaccinated will be able to sail on the cruise for now.

Guests and crew members above age 16 are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Royal Caribbean said in a statement. Further details on health and safety measures to be implemented are to be announced at a later date.

Sailings go on sale March 9.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.