Middle East Cruise News

Royal Caribbean re-arranges itineraries after cancelling 2024 Israel season

Royal Caribbean International has adjusted different itineraries in the Caribbean and the U.S. Northeast following the cancellation of the 2024 Israeli cruise season aboard Jewel of the Seas.

Jewel of the Seas will now be re-deployed to the US Northeast in the summer/fall of 2024, instead of repositioning to the Eastern Mediterranean as planned. 

The 2024 Israeli cruise season was cancelled on expectations of the security situation in the region remaining uncertain for the foreseeable future.

Jewel of the Seas

Israel declared war on Hamas, the militant group that runs the Gaza Strip, following a series of cross-border raids on October 7th that left 1,400 Israelis and other nationals dead.

Retaliatory airstrikes and an invasion of the Gaza Strip by the Israel Defence Forces has resulted in more than 9,000 deaths, the vast majority of them Palestinian civilians.

The conflict has raised tensions in the Middle East region to unprecedented levels, with European and North American governments warning of potential terrorist attacks against Western interests in MENA countries.

Another Royal Caribbean International ship, Grandeur of the Seas, had been scheduled to cruise in the US Northeast region, but will now remain in the Caribbean, offering cruises from Tampa, due to the redeployment of Jewel of the Seas.

These developments are an extension of the cancellation of Odyssey of the Seas’ planned 2023 cruise season in Israel, out of Haifa. 

Other cruise lines, including Norwegian Cruise Line, have followed suit and cancelled all ports calls to Israel and other Middle Eastern countries into 2024.

“Due to the ongoing geopolitical situation in Israel, we’ve made the decision to redeploy the Jewel of the Seas from Haifa, Israel to its new homeport in Boston, Massachusetts,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement.

“As a result, the Jewel of the Seas will now sail Northeastern itineraries and the Grandeur of the Seas will now sail Western Caribbean itineraries out of Tampa, Florida.”

Affected sailings include the entire homeporting season in Haifa aboard Jewel of the Seas, which was to feature a series of 3- to 10-night cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean between mid-August 2024 and late October 2024.

Grandeur of the Seas, meanwhile, will have a series of 7-night cruises to Canada & New England cancelled. Those itineraries were scheduled to sail from Boston between late September and early November, 2024.

The ship was also scheduled to offer a 15-night cruise to Greenland and Canada from Boston, which has also been cancelled.Passengers previously booked on the cancelled sailings are being offered an array of options, including changing their reservations to new cruises.

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