Royal Caribbean is partnering with the U.S. Department of State to use Rhapsody of the Seas to help evacuate Americans from Israel.
Rhapsody, which had been sailing in the region until the conflict started, is providing free passage, including rooms and meals, for Americans who want to leave the region to find safer ground.
Jason Liberty, the CEO of Royal Caribbean, told Royal’s crew in a message this weekend that Royal’s team worked “tirelessly” over the past week to make the mission possible.”
“This has truly been an incredible effort as our teams worked tirelessly over the past week to make this mission possible. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to all involved and especially to the ship’s officers and crew for their unwavering support of this call to serve others in the midst of unimaginable tragedy,” Liberty said.
“It is in challenging times like these that the phenomenal spirit and values of our collective Royal Caribbean Group team shines,” he added.
According to an alert from the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, the U.S. government is preparing to use a ship, presumably Rhapsody, to Americans with valid travel documents from Haifa via sea to Cyprus today on Oct. 16.
Rhapsody had two of its sailings, which were due to depart from Haifa later this month, canceled. It is one of a growing number of cruise ships that have changed itineraries because of the conflict. Others include Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager, Silversea’s Silver Spirit, and more.