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Celestyal Olympia returns to Limassol for 7-day Greek cruises

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Celestyal Cruises is launching a seven-night Greek island cruise in July and August, departing from Limassol on board the Olympia.

It is the third cruise company to include Cyprus in its itineraries this year.

Carnival Group’s Seabourn Ovation launch 7-day roundtrip sailings in July that includes Limassol port and a stopover in Paphos, while Royal Caribbean said its Odyssey of the Seas would dock in Limassol about 15 times from June to August, carrying only vaccinated Israeli passengers and crew.

Celestyal, part of the Cyprus-owned Louis Group, said weekly departures for the ‘Legendary Archipelago’ itinerary would begin on July 3 and continue to August 21, calling on Ayios Nikolaos (Crete), Lavrio (Athens), Thessaloniki, and then Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes.

Sales started Friday from €699 per person, including unlimited consumption of classic drinks, meals, two excursions, port charges, service fees and tips.

For children up to 12, there will only be port charges and taxes.

Only those in possession of a negative PCR test up to 48 hours before departure are permitted onboard. “Guidance from local authorities is expected regarding exemption from the negative PCR test for all those in possession of a vaccination certificate.”

Reduced passenger capacity

The Olympia can accommodate 1,664 passengers in 724 cabins, 418 of which are external, with 21 suites available.

However, the number of passengers on board will be reduced due to COVID-19 health protocols.

Apart from being the only cruise ship visiting Thessaloniki every week, passengers will also enjoy a long stop in Mykonos (10 am – 2 am next day) for quick visits to nearby islands Tinos and Delos, including an optional pilgrimage from Mykonos to the Panagia of Tinos.

“We decided to invest in a new route this year and to offer Cypriots the opportunity to board and disembark directly at Limassol port,” said Celestyal Cruises’ CEO Chris Theophilides.

“Additionally, with the resumption of Celestyal Crystal’s winter programme in November, we will continue and strengthen our efforts to develop positive prospects for Cyprus.”

From November 20, the Crystal will begin its seven-night ‘Three Continents’ winter route from Limassol port to Egypt, Israel, Rhodes, Athens and ancient Ephesus.

Celestyal operates a fleet of three cruise ships, including the new flagship, Celestyal Experience, the renamed 1,800-passenger Costa neoRiviera, built in 1993 and bought from Carnival Corp. in July 2020 for an undisclosed amount.

The other two are the 1,664-passenger Olympia and the 1,200 capacity Crystal.