A major cruise line has canceled its wildly hyped, fully vaccinated cruises from Israel over unrest

·1 min read
Royal Caribbean cruise ship Odyssey of the Seas
Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas. Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean has canceled a series of fully vaccinated cruises from Israel amid the surging Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Royal Caribbean had planned for its new Odyssey of the Seas ship to begin sailing in June out of Haifa, Israel. The cruise series - unveiled in March - served as Royal Caribbean's first fully vaccinated cruise announcement, and would have been the cruise line's first voyage from Israel.

Royal Caribbean had been eyeing the chance to offer sailings from Israel "for quite some time," Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean's president and CEO, said in a March press release. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially called the cruise line's decision to sail from Israel an "important economic, touristic moment" for the country.

Read more: Carnival and Royal Caribbean salaries revealed: From $32,000 to $383,000, here's how much the cruise industry's power players pay some of their employees

But now, the cruise giant will be halting its highly anticipated Israel-based sailings, which would have shuttled fully vaccinated Israelis on three- to seven-night trips to Greece and Cyprus from Haifa, Israel, and back.

"Due to the unrest in Israel and the region, we have not been able to complete the preparation required to operate," the cruise line said on May 15 in its updated suspended sailings list.

The region has been rocked by escalating violence, which has led to rising civilian deaths. Presently, Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 200 Palestinians, while strikes from Gaza have killed 10 people in Israel, the Associated Press reported.

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