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Meyer Werft delivers Odyssey of the Seas, a 'breath of fresh air'

Odyssey of the Seas will enter service with cruises from Israel before repositioning to Florida's Port Everglades later in the year
Odyssey of the Seas officially became the 25th ship in Royal Caribbean International's fleet with its delivery from Meyer Werft Wednesday.

Later today, viewers will have front-row seats to the handover ceremony during an untraditional Facebook premiere event — a global lineup that includes the ship's blessing led by Seafarers' House at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, a performance from signature venue Two70 on board Singapore-based Quantum of the Seas and executives of Royal Caribbean in Florida and Meyer Werft in Papenburg.

5 p.m. EDT on Facebook

The celebration takes place on Royal Caribbean International's Facebook page at 5 p.m. EDT.

The ship is scheduled to debut from its first-time homeport Haifa, Israel, in May, then from Florida's Port Everglades in November.

Delivery VIPs

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain, RCI President and CEO Michael Bayley and Odyssey Capt. Per Kristoffersen received the new ship from Meyer Werft Managing Partner Bernard Meyer and Managing Director Jan Meyer in the customary handover ceremony with a virtual twist.

'Breath of fresh air'

'Receiving Odyssey of the Seas into the Royal Caribbean family is a welcomed breath of fresh air,' Bayley said. 'The ingenuity, passion and hard work our dedicated crew, teams on land and partners at Meyer Werft put into building a new ship always deliver, and to pull it off so well during a time unlike any other is incredible.

'We are looking forward to delivering the memorable vacations we're known for today on a ship that will mark several firsts for us, from making Israel a first-time homeport to introducing Quantum Ultra class to North America,' he continued. 'Every new ship is a blank slate to go bolder and be different, and Odyssey is bringing the very best of the new and guest-favorites across two continents for the years to come.'

Spectrum's sister

The 169,000gt Odyssey is the second Quantum Ultra-class ship, following 2019's Spectrum of the Seas

Odyssey is scheduled to sail three- to seven-night cruises from Haifa with vaccinated crew and passengers over 16, with younger passengers tested. Destinations are Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Piraeus in Greece and Limassol, Cyprus. From Port Everglades, the ship will offer six- and eight-night cruises to ports like Aruba, Curaçao and Perfect Day at CocoCay.