Mazel tov! Royal Caribbean Will Homeport From Haifa
In August, Rhapsody of the Seas will begin sailing round-trip between two and eight nights, from Haifa.
The Jerusalem Post reports the Royal Caribbean will be returning to the Port of Haifa in August with the Rhapsody of the Seas.
Last summer, the cruise line planned to have the Odyssey of the Sea sail from the port canceled plans due to unrest in the region.
According to the Post, between August and October, Rhapsody of the Seas will begin transporting guests on round-trip cruises lasting between two and eight nights, initially embarking from Haifa and traveling to ports throughout the Mediterranean in Greece and Cyprus. Further destinations are being considered for future voyages as well.
Sean Treacy, Royal Caribbean senior vice president of international sales, called the move "historic." "We see this as a real opportunity for Israelis to cruise from home, but we've also seen an interest in cruising from Israel from all of our markets. We have guests from over 100 different countries, and we've seen a lot of interest from the United States, Latin America, Australia, and Europe to visit Israel and then go on a cruise." He added, “We typically see that people want to spend several days in the home port destination before or after a cruise.”
The ship will also source some of its food and other goods from Israel, further benefiting the local economy.
A spokesman for the company said Kosher offerings will be available in the ship’s dining room – the details of which organization will oversee the certification are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, and Hebrew speakers will be present on each trip to serve in functions such as children’s clubs and guest services.