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Royal Caribbean to continue using Limassol port

royal caribbean jewel of the seas
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International is expected to continue using Limassol as a home port for some of its cruises in 2022, port management company DP World Limassol said on Thursday.

DP World Limassol CEO Nawaf Abdulla said that the Norwegian cruise operator’s decision to make Limassol its home port this year boosted the cruise sector in Cyprus, a move that could encourage other companies to make Limassol their home port in 2022.

“We are proud to have gained the trust of a leading cruise operator like Royal Caribbean, in cooperation with their local agent, and we are confident that this is only the beginning of a long-term partnership,” Abdulla stated.

“Besides, according to our latest cruise schedule, the company will start cruising from Limassol port in May 2022,” he added.

He also praised the value of the cruise industry to the Cypriot economy. “Cruise tourism can offset traditional tourism seasonal cycles, as well as create the conditions to diversify our tourism base and attract tourists from non-traditional markets,” Abdulla said.

“Cruise operators are gradually starting to recover from the pandemic, but this will take time”, he added, expressing confidence that the industry will return to 2019 levels by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.

Royal Caribbean International is one of the world’s leading cruise operators. According to industry analysts Cruise Market Watch, the cruise line carried 19.1 per cent of all cruise passengers in 2021, while generating 12.8 per cent of all revenue.

The total worldwide ocean cruise industry is currently estimated to be worth $23.8 billion.

While the industry saw an 81.8 per cent year-on-year increase in turnover, it is still 52.9 per cent down compared to 2019. This is also reflected in the number of passengers, which Cruise Market Watch places at 13.9 million for 2021, a 96.2 per cent year-on-year increase over 2020 but a 49.4 per cent fall compared to 2019.

DP World saw off the Royal Caribbean’s ‘Jewel of the Seas’ cruise liner for the last time this year on Saturday. The liner had made Limassol its home port in 2021.

The two companies marked the occasion through an exchange of plaques between Jewel of the Seas captain Anders Bjornar Ingebrigtsen and DP World Limassol’s Interim Operations Manager Ernesto Osorio, and Terminal Supervisor Katerina Constantinou.

The Jewel of the Seas made its maiden voyage from Limassol on July 10 and completed a total of 17 seven-night cruises, calling at Piraeus, Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos, and Santorini before returning to Limassol.

Despite being forced to operate at reduced capacity due to health and safety restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Jewel of the Seas still managed to carry approximately 23,000 passengers.


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