Royal Caribbean offers a “fully vaccinated” cruise

Royal Caribbean announced Monday that it will launch its new ship “Odyssey of the Seas” for the first time in May, marking what the line calls its first “fully vaccinated” cruise.

The ship will take off from Haifa, Israel, and make several stops around the Mediterranean Sea during its three- to seven-night trip, the cruise company said in a press release.

Working with Israel’s health and tourism authorities, Royal Caribbean will be the first to offer fully vaccinated cruises, where crew and guests over 16 will be vaccinated against COVID-19. Details on additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Israel and Royal Caribbean will be announced at a later date, ”the company said.

Israel has participated in a mass vaccination effort targeting the elderly that has led to a sharp drop in severe coronavirus cases, reducing the number of patients who need to be placed on a ventilator.

The country, which has a population of around 9 million, has vaccinated more than 90 percent of its people, a higher vaccination percentage than any other country in the world.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin netanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuPLUS hailed the announcement as proof of Israel’s status as “the world champion in vaccines”, saying it would soon be the “world champion in economics and tourism in the post-Corona era.”

“Thanks to the millions of vaccines we have provided, I am proud that Israel is the first country in the world to launch Royal Caribbean‘s new flagship,” Netanyahu said, according to the statement. “Royal Caribbean’s decision to come to Israel is a significant expression of confidence in our policy. It is an important economic and tourist moment for the State of Israel.”

Royal Caribbean’s announcement could be a boon to the devastated tourism industry. A policy briefing United Nations published in August estimated that the tourism industry could potentially lose up to $ 1.2 trillion and 120 million tourism jobs due to the pandemic.

“No country has escaped the decimation of its tourism sector, from Italy where tourism accounts for 6 percent of the country’s GDP to Palau where it generates nearly 90 percent of all exports. This crisis is a shock major for developed economies and an emergency for the most vulnerable and developing countries, ”the briefing read.

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