Royal Caribbean has announced that Odyssey of the Seas, their next Quantum Ultra class cruise ship, will sail to the Mediterranean after a season of cruises to the Caribbean from Florida.Royal Caribbean’s game-changing cruise ship will be the first to tout a combination of longer stays in every destination and overnights across some of the Mediterranean’s most luring cities and famed beach destinations. The highly anticipated ship will debut in November 2020, sailing from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean for her first season, before continuing her inaugural year in Europe. Odyssey’s Mediterranean cruises for summer 2021 open today for bookings.
Beginning May 2021, Odyssey will take travelers on sun-soaked summer vacations in the Eastern Mediterranean on 7-, 9- and 12-night itineraries to the scenic shores and ancient ruins of Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece; Ephesus and Rhodes, Turkey; Naples, Italy; Heraklion, Crete; and Haifa and Jerusalem, Israel.
Vacationers will have more time than ever to explore local cultures with maximum time on shore, from longer days – up to 15 hours at every port — spent enjoying the multihued waters and beaches of Mykonos and waterfront tavernas of Santorini on 7-night getaways to the Greek Isles, to a double dose of destinations with overnight stays and two full days in Athens and Naples on both 9-night Greek Isles and 12-night Holy Land sailings.
The lineup of local experiences available to guests go beyond historic attractions, digging deeper into the vibrant culture and communities of the picturesque destinations. Highlights of adventures in store for Odyssey of the Seas guests:
Sorrento and Amalfi Coast: When visiting Naples, guests can explore the Amalfi Coast, shop for majolica pottery, sample Southern Italian cuisine and enjoy downtime while wandering the flower-filled streets of Sorrento.
Athens: Foodies can partake in the culinary history of Athens with a traditional cooking class for a taste of the local culture. Escorted by a local chef, the day begins with ingredient shopping in the Central Food Market before heading to the restaurant to prepare local dishes.
Mykonos: A beach day for the books, where the entire family can soak up the Cycladean sun at one of Mykonos’ best stretches of surf and sand.
Crete: Foodies can embark on a visit to Boutari on the Fantaxometocho Estate, one of the most modern and impressive wineries of Crete, and sample a selection of homegrown wines produced onsite. The neighboring, recently restored village of Archanes is a ‘must see’ with its colorful backstreets, blooming flowers and fruit trees.
Jerusalem and Bethlehem: The distinguished history of two biblically significant cities are brought to life while touring storied landmarks, such as The Wailing Wall, Church of the Nativity and Mount of Olives.
Nazareth: By way of Haifa, vacationers will travel the region of Galilee to explore Nazareth and its churches, including the Church of Annunciation and the Church of St. Gabriel.
When Odyssey of the Seas makes her North American debut in November 2020, the new ship will be the first of her class to sail the Caribbean’s clear blue waters and visit far-flung destinations like Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman and Mexico on 8- and 6-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale.
Odyssey of the Seas will return to Fort Lauderdale in November 2021 for a second winter, sailing the same combination of itineraries. Caribbean cruises for winter 2021-22 open on Dec. 19, 2019.
The Quantum Ultra Class ship will tout game-changing, technological innovations like the next generation SeaPlex, the largest indoor space for recreational activities at sea, which will see the addition of this venue’s first Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade with club-level views of the competition below; a reimagined Adventure Ocean kids program and a maxed-out teen lounge with gaming consoles, music and movies. Guests onboard Odyssey can enjoy all-new dining, including Teppanyaki, serving East Asian flavors in a traditional Japanese style; and Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar with rustic Italian dishes and a contemporary flair.
Odyssey’s vibrant, two-level pool deck will feature two open-air, resort-style pools and four whirlpools with shady casitas and hammocks. The ship will also feature guest favorites, including FlowRider surf simulator; skydiving with Ripcord by iFly; the iconic North Star glass capsule that boasts 360-degree views from 300 feet above sea level; and robot bartenders at Bionic Bar.