The travel industry is seeing a COVID19 passport as the answer to the resumption of international travel. The same can be said about the cruise industry. Royal Caribbean was reportedly working towards having a fully-vaccinated cruise from Israel.
On Monday, the Royal Caribbean announced that it is going to offer its cruises for vaccinated individuals by May. The cruise will take passengers to Cyprus and Greece in a 3 to 7-night escape. Passengers are going to enjoy Royal Caribbean’s new ship, Odyssey of the Seas. Tickets are on sale starting March 9.
This is going to be the world’s first fully-vaccinated cruise. Royal Caribbean announced that it will have guests above 16 years old vaccinated along with its crew. Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley called it “Green Island at sea”. This is a reference to Israel’s “green pass” or COVID19 passport. This indicates that someone either recovered from COVID19 or already received the vaccine. The green pass allows individuals to access different facilities including tourism facilities.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised this move by Royal Caribbean. He said that “I am proud that Israel will be the first country in the world to launch Royal Caribbean’s new flagship”. Israel has administered the first dose of the COVID19 vaccine to 4,750,000 individuals out of its 9 million population while 3.4 million received two doses. Netanyahu also said that Royal Caribbean choosing Israel is an “expression of confidence in our policy”.
In the last 12 months, the cruise industry experienced losses from the travel restrictions. Confined spaces combined with city-like interactions increased the risk for people who were on a cruise. By the end of 2020, the cruise industry lost a total of $32.7 billion due to suspended voyages. on top of that, Cruise Lines International Association estimates 254,000 employees lost their jobs as well.