Deputy Ministers for Tourism and Shipping have welcomed assurances of Royal Caribbean’s interest to invest in Cyprus, expressing their readiness to enhance cooperation with the cruise liner.
The world’s biggest ship, the Wonder of the Seas, is docked at the Limassol port. Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean’s Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, announced it would be included in its 2022 destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Recalling the cruise company operated in Cyprus for the first time last year, with the Limassol port as its base with the cruise liner Jewel of the Seas, Bouldin said in 2023, Limassol will be among the destinations for the Rhapsody of the Seas.
Bouldin also expressed gratitude to the Cypriot authorities over the facilities granted to the seafarers amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
“You were there when other markets weren’t.”
“Cyprus has proved an exciting and popular destination for many of our clients, and despite the difficulties due to restrictions in movement, we have done enough showing that Cyprus is a base–port we must build upon.”
He also assured that Cyprus will be among the company’s plans beyond 2023, stating that Cyprus is a pillar in Royal Caribbean’s growth plan in Europe.
Enhancing Royal Caribbean’s presence in the region, the company has decided to cooperate with local tour operators.
“We want to build our brand reputation here in Cyprus, and this means investing in relations and collaborations,” Bouldin said.
Royal Caribbean will be the main sponsor of Limassol club Apollon FC, hoping the club will qualify for Europe promoting the company’s logo.
Bouldin said the relationship between Royal Caribbean and Cyprus is blossoming, “built upon a wonderful cooperation, yielding benefits for the tourism sector”.
Cypriot Ministers assured that Cyprus would support cruise line companies.
Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said it was very important that the work done in Cyprus in the last months seems to yield results, highlighting the announcement over the presence of Royal Caribbean in Cyprus beyond 2023.
“We can assure that we will be here collaborating, working as much as we can both with the company and others like it.”
Deputy Minister for Shipping Vassilis Demetriades said over 55,000 seafarers assisted by Cyprus could return home during the pandemic while promoting vaccination for 40,000 seafarers.
“Cyprus being a shipping state, we feel responsible for supporting seafarers and all personnel working aboard ships that is why as a government have decided to facilitate them since the onset of the pandemic.”