Cruise ship heads to Israel to help evacuate thousands of Americans to Cyprus

Royal Caribbean: Icon of the Seas

Royal Caribbean has stepped up to the plate to help evacuate Americans stuck in Israel as the conflict continues to heat up, with the popular cruise ship line managing to evacuate the stranded to nearby Cyprus.

It comes after it was reported President Joe Biden will visit Israel to discover its “war strategy” as well as working to create a safe passage out of Gaza for civilians.

The New York Post is reporting that 2,500 Americans and their immediate family members have fled on the Rhapsody of the Seas to the island nation, as most commercial international airlines have stopped flying into Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport.

However, the ship hasn’t evacuated all Americans as of this writing.

Boarding on the ship began on Monday (October 16), and people were boarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Many families, according to the outlet, were separated from one another, with many men choosing to stay behind as their wives and children went off to Cyprus.

It’s estimated that the average trip to Cyprus from Haifa port takes about 12 hours.

From there, evacuees can take commercial flights to their final destinations.

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It is not clear, however, how the international airlines are planning to accomodate this influx of Americans trying to get home — and what accomodations may be provided for those who are left behind in Cyprus.

For those that are still trapped in Israel, however, there may be some hope.

“The US State Department said that in addition to the ship, chartered flights from Israel will be available for American citizens,” reported the outlet.

It’s unclear who is footing the bill for this added expense.

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