Cyprus Mail
Business Guest Columnist Opinion

Cruises taking Cyprus to the future

File photo: Passenger terminal at Limassol port

By Doros Aresti

Demand for cruise holidays has been rising steadily in recent decades. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), 27.2 million passengers are expected to travel by cruise ship this year, compared with 25.8 million in 2017. Mediterranean destinations are leading the global increase and recording excellent results, marking an 8 per cent rise compared with 2016. Therefore, given that Limassol has many of the preconditions to provide cruise companies and their passengers with a unique experience, it has the chance to position itself at the centre of this growth.

Factors such as the improved infrastructure of cruise ships and the broad range of travel options are keeping the demand for cruise holidays at high levels. Cruise ships have been significantly upgraded over the past two decades. Today, the MS Symphony of the Seas – an Oasis-class cruise ship – has a gross tonnage of 228,081 and can carry up to 6,680 passengers at maximum capacity, along with 2,200 crew members. It includes an ice-skating rink, a 43-ft climbing wall and a “central park”, which is host to over 20,000 tropical plants. In 2016, an estimated 1,021,681 people were employed in the cruise sector worldwide, generating total economic output of €103 billion world-wide.

As a result of this upward trend, port passenger terminals are competing against each other to host the ocean liners, which demand specific requirements, such as proximity to popular routes and international airports that facilitate the continuation of trips.

Cyprus’ geographical position, its large human resource market and its two international airports provide particularly favourable conditions to turn the island into a successful one-stop shop for cruise ship services.

With a water depth exceeding 11 metres and three jetties spanning over 400 metres with the ability to host a number of boats simultaneously, DP World Limassol’s new passenger terminal at Limassol port is specially designed to service the largest cruise ships worldwide. It can host passengers arriving from the Suez Canal, on their entry into the Mediterranean, ensuring that they can carry on with their travels due to the easy access to international airports and further European destinations. Moreover, the new cruise terminal can also be used to host events, even during the arrival of cruise ships, attracting local and foreign visitors.

At the same time, DP World Limassol has recently launched a new online platform (www.limassolcruise.com) providing information aimed at promoting further cruise tourism in Cyprus and providing support to cruise passengers and companies. The creation of the new platform, reflects the company’s customer-driven approach, which focuses on boosting Cyprus’ presence on the regional cruise map via targeted and systematic actions.

With demand for cruise holidays on the rise and technological advances making the construction of larger cruise ships possible and financially viable, the sector’s outlook is looking very bright. There is huge potential, especially for those ports and terminals that have the ability to host large cruise ships and provide access to popular destinations.

 

Doros Aresti is communications officer at DP World Limassol

www.dpworldlimassol.com

 

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