Two workers on Royal Caribbean International's newest cruise ship, Odyssey of the Seas, have tested positive for coronavirus, forcing the ship to remain docked at Bremerhaven, Germany, according to German media.
The ship was getting ready for planned sea trials, but will now have to remain docked with its estimated 500 crew and workers forced to stay on board."We anticipate that there will be no delay to Odyssey’s arrival into Israel. We are excited about her upcoming sailings and look forward to opening for sale tomorrow," Royal Caribbean International said in a statement on Monday."The shipyard workers and crew onboard Odyssey of the Seas are currently preparing the ship for sea trials. They are being tested daily and at this time there are no positive cases onboard the ship," the statement added.
This comes following reports that the Odyssey of the Seas would start sailing from Haifa in May, with tickers set to go on sale March 9. Israelis were also set to be the first guests on the cruise ship.
Both the guests and entirety of the crew will be vaccinated during these trips, a first for a cruise line.
"Odyssey of the Seas is currently under construction by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany," the company's statement continued. "The team is currently preparing the ship for sea trials," the statement added. "As part of the stringent protocols put in place by the shipyard, all shipyard workers and crew members must receive a negative PCR test result before boarding. Once on board, the ship conducts daily testing. This process allowed Meyer Werft to detect any possible COVID-19 cases and take the necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus. Earlier this week, six shipyard workers were identified after a positive test and they were immediately quarantined land side. At this time, there are no positive cases onboard."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the announcement as a confirmation of Israel’s vaccination policies.
“This is an important economic, tourist and branding event for the State of Israel,” he said at the time.
“Just as we made Israel the world champion in vaccines, we will make it the world champion in economics and tourism in the post-corona era.”
However, it is currently unclear if the ongoing situation will delay the timeline for the anticipated launch.
Zev Stub contributed to this report.