Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rhapsody of the Seas Arrives at the Port of Haifa to Rescue Americans from Israel
By Space Coast Daily // October 16, 2023
United States State Department requested Royal Caribbean's assistance
Days after Royal Caribbean cancelled cruises from Israel, it has sent a cruise ship back to Israel but not to start a vacation. As the war between Israel and Hamas intensifies, Americans in Israel are looking for a way to get out of the region.
The United States State Department requested Royal Caribbean’s assistance in evacuating Americans from Israel.
Royal Caribbean Group issued a statement on Monday to confirm their involvement in assisting evacuation efforts, “Royal Caribbean Group is actively assisting the U.S. Department of State in an effort to evacuate American citizens in the area.”
The U.S. Embassy in Israel posted on its website it was helping Americans and their immediate family members with valid travel documents leave Haifa to be transported to nearby Cyprus.
Why cruise ships? Air travel has stopped to Israel, and so a sea connection was the next best option. The major U.S. airlines have temporarily suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv.
Rhapsody of the Seas was at the Port of Haifa on Monday.
The U.S. Embassy issued a statement that boarding began on Monday morning and Rhapsody will move the Americans to Limassol, Cyprus.
According to a report by The Times of Israel,, dozens of U.S. citizens and their spouses were in line to get on Rhapsody of the Seas in Haifa.
The journey will take about 10-12 hours, with food and wifi available to use during the short cruise.