With travelers canceling trips to the Far East, excess capacity on flights and ships has forced operators to come up with alternative plans – and one of those plans is likely to involve the biggest cruise ship ever to dock in Israel is set to grace the Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod.
Norwegian Cruise Lines, which does not usually operate cruises to Israel, is likely to deploy at least one of its large vessels for Mediterranean cruising, Yisrael Hayom reported.
The ship likely to be put on the Israel route is the Norwegian Spirit. The ship usually plies the seas in the Far East, but the line has canceled the Spirit’s next tour of the region, which was supposed to culminate at a port in Japan, in time for an international sports event.
Instead, the ship will take passengers around the Mediterranean, leaving from its home port in Piraeus, Greece, and calling at several Greek islands, Istabul, Haifa and Ashdod.
The ship, 268 meters long with a capacity for 1,996 passengers, is 14 stories tall, and has room for 1,000 crew – which would make it the largest cruise ship to ever dock in Israel. The Mediterranean cruise is set for the spring, after the ship returns from its current deployment on a cruise from South Africa back to Greece.