Alternating departures from Piraeus, Greece, and Alexandria, Egypt, starting Aug. 4, the five new itineraries range from seven to 12 nights. There will be access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites at nearly all of the 14 ports and multiple nights in either Alexandria (for Cairo) or Mykonos, Greece.
On the Aug. 4 maiden voyage, travelers will be hosted at an included celebration dinner and party on the Giza Plateau overlooking the pyramids, which will be illuminated into the evening exclusively for World Navigator.
Reaction to Israel unrest
These itinerary changes spring from the unrest in Israel.
On Wednesday the Israeli military launched airstrikes in Gaza, the first eruption of hostilies since an 11-day air battle between Israel and Hamas ended in May. At the time, Royal Caribbean International withdrew Odyssey of the Seas, which had been planned to sail an inaugural season from Haifa.
'The safety and health of our guests and staff is our top priority,' Atlas President Alberto Aliberti said. 'While we would have liked to carry out our original Holy Land itineraries this summer, the region’s geopolitics do not make it prudent.'
Included excursion at each port plus premium overland options
World Navigator will call at small Greek islands that larger ships cannot reach. In port, travelers get an included shore excursion. Among the options are Ano Mera, perhaps the most traditional of Mykonos’ villages; Akrotiri, ranked among the world’s top 10 archaeological sites; and Alexandria’s National Museum and iconic library.
Extra-charge premium escorted overland tours that include all the major sites of Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor and Athens are available, too.
All shore excursions and overland tours will be conducted in small groups, led by expert local guides and aboard full-size motor coaches operated at less than 50% occupancy. Wireless headsets will be used to allow participants to distance while hearing the guides’ commentary.
For vaccinated travelers
Travelers will need to attest to their COVID-19 vaccination. Staff and crew members will be vaccinated and quarantined for extra measure pre-launch.
Among Atlas's inclusives are emergency medical evacuation insurance, premium wine and spirits, international beers and coffees, Wi-Fi and L’Occitane bath amenities. Accommodations are equipped with binoculars to use on board; coffee, tea and personalized bar service; and butler service in suites.