A first group of evacuees from Israel arrived in Limassol on October 17th aboard cruise ship Rhapsody of the Sea (IMO 9116864). Meanwhile Cyprus has announced plans for a twice-daily ferry link for those wishing to leave Israel. There were 159 evacuees on board the cruise ship, consisting mainly of elderly individuals, families with children and tourists. This ferry will presumably be the Champion Jet 1 (IMO 9151008).
The Rhapsody Of The Seas had left the port of Haifa at around 21:00 UTC on October 16th, and arrived in Limassol at around 05:30 UTC the following morning, berthing at the Limassol East Container Terminal. Security was tight, with armed police and sniffer dogs.
The US ambassador, Julie Fisher, was at the port to welcome the Americans among the evacuees, who numbered significantly fewer than expected.
1997-built, Bahamas-flagged, 78,878 gt Rhapsody Of The Seas is owned by Rhapsody Of The Seas Inc care of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) of Miami, Florida, USA. ISM manager is RCL Cruises Ltd of Weybridge, UK. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (Americas Syndicate) on behalf of Rhapsody Of The Seas Inc. As of October 18th the vessel was at Limassol Anchorage, Cyprus.
1997-built, Cyprus-flagged, 5,007 gt Champion Jet 1 is owned by HSJ High Speed Jet Srv Ltd care of Sea Jets Maritime Co of Piraeus, Greece. ISM manager is Jambo Jet Maritime Co of Piraeus, Greece. It is entered with American Club on behalf of HSJ High Speed jet Srv Ltd. As of October 18th it was moored at Limassol, where it had arrived on October 15th, having left Rhodes, Greece, on October 14th.