Royal Caribbean calls Cyprus home

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American cruise giant Royal Caribbean will continue cruises from Cyprus in the next two years, casting their vote of confidence in the island’s tourism.

The good news for Cyprus tourism and shipping industries was delivered by Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios.

Perdios revealed that Royal Caribbean would continue to use Cyprus as a homeport for cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, carrying off from where it left off in October last year.

Carrying thousands of passengers on their trips, it used Limassol Port as its home port for cruises to the Greek islands.

Initially, the cruise operator had aspired to carry thousands of passengers to Israel and the Greek islands with two cruise liners, the Odyssey of the Seas and the Jewel of the Seas.

However, tensions in the Middle East, combined with the spread of COVID-19 and travel restrictions, the Royal Caribbean withdrew cruises to Israel by Odyssey of the Seas.

This left the Jewel of the Seas and cruises to the Greek islands on the schedule.

Royal Caribbean’s 2,700-passenger Jewel of the Seas has pools, whirlpools, vitality spa and fitness centre, speciality bars and restaurants.

Spanning 13 decks, the ship also has a rock-climbing wall, casino, sports court, nine-hole miniature golf course, outdoor movie screen and more.

The Jewel of the Seas sailed from Limassol from 10 July and completed a total of 17 seven-night cruises, calling at Piraeus, Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, and back to Limassol by mid-October.

Not wanting to reveal Royal Caribbean’s plans for 2022 and 2023, Perdios said the company had a few surprises for Cypriots and tourists.

Cyprus hopes to end the decade as one of the 30 most competitive destinations globally.