Royal Caribbean International will operate new seven-night cruises to Greece and Cyprus on the Jewel of the Seas starting July 10.
The voyages will depart from Limassol, Cyprus, through October and visit places such as Athens and the Greek islands of Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos and Santorini. Bookings will open April 7.
The voyages are open to adult guests who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those under the age of 18 with negative test results. “These current health and safety measures, like others, may evolve as they are evaluated on an ongoing basis,” the company said. The crew also will be fully vaccinated.
“I’m delighted to announce our safe and gradual return to Europe. We know how eager our guests are to enjoy a getaway this summer, and these sailings, which include a mix of fantastic destinations and must-visit islands, make for the perfect getaway,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Cyprus is a beautiful island, and we are thankful to the Cypriot government for their support and enthusiasm in making these incredible itineraries possible.”
Savvas Perdios, the deputy minister of tourism for Cyprus, said, “We are delighted that Royal Caribbean will call Limassol its homeport for the first time ever. This has been an ambition of ours for many years, and we are thrilled that, finally, this dream has come to fruition. We have every confidence that Royal Caribbean’s presence in Limassol will be beneficial to Cyprus and, similarly, we are very confident that as a homeport and as a country, Cyprus will live up to the expectations of Royal Caribbean and its guests.”
The 90,090-gross-ton, 2,191-passenger Jewel of the Seas has pools and whirlpools, the Vitality Spa and Fitness Center and numerous complimentary and specialty bars and restaurants, including Chops Grille and Izumi. Spanning 13 decks, the ship also has a rock-climbing wall, casino, sports court, nine-hole miniature golf course, outdoor movie screen and more.
Details on the health and safety measures to be implemented will be announced at a later date. The protocols to come will continue to be led by science and expert guidance from the Healthy Sail Panel, Royal Caribbean Group’s Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer and local government and health authorities.
In addition, travelers must meet the travel requirements of their home country and Cyprus. The most up-to-date policies can be found on Cyprus’ tourism website.
The latest cruise program is one of several Royal Caribbean has planned of late. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shut down cruising more than a year ago and then lifted the no-sail order in October and replaced it with a conditional sailing order. Royal Caribbean Group CEO Richard Fain said the cruise industry has worked with the CDC and other governmental agencies, but still doesn’t have permission to sail in U.S. waters.
“We’re four months into it, and we’re still in phase one and don’t know what’s required for phase two,” Fain said. “Science has moved ahead of the conditional no-sail order,” with vaccinations allowing people to start traveling again.
So cruise lines are increasingly drawing up itineraries that operate completely outside U.S. waters.
Royal Caribbean has operated successfully in Singapore for months, carrying more than 50,000 guests to date on Quantum of the Seas. The company also announced plans for the Odyssey of the Seas to cruise from Haifa, Israel. And, closer to the U.S., cruises from The Bahamas with Adventure of the Seas and Bermuda with Vision of the Seas are scheduled to begin in June.
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