As I’m sure you’ll remember from what I’ve told you in my other feature articles, Cyprus is a fantastic place. You’ve got what I call the sun, sea, and sand at your fingertips whenever you choose to enjoy them. You’ve also got fantastic local, cultural tavernas and cosmopolitan restaurants and bars too, plus hotels that are operated to very high standards. So, not only is Cyprus a great place to take a well-earned holiday, but it’s also a brilliant place to live.
Today, I’m going to tell you about another fabulous thing about living in Cyprus – the opportunity to go on a cruise (or two, if you fancy it!) from Limassol port. In fact, I know many tourists who have come to Cyprus for their summer holiday and discover this cruising opportunity and book to go on a cruise to the Holy Land (Israel), Egypt, Lebanon, Rhodes, Athens and the Greek islands as part of their Cyprus summer holiday.
These destinations are very local to Cyprus too, meaning that you won’t be overextending your time at sea. I, myself, have been on cruises to the Holy Land (Israel) and Egypt, and it’s a wonderful, exciting experience. Let me tell you more about it…
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What are the cruises from Cyprus like?
There are two cruise lines that operate these cruises: Louis Cruise lines and Salamis Cruises. I have been with both of these, cruising to Egypt and Israel.
I can tell you with confidence that the cruise trips they provide are excellent and unforgettable. The cruise ships themselves really are the height of luxury – my British friends here tell me they think they are comparable in standard to those that sail from Southampton and Dover in the U.K.
For me, I would call them the height of hotel luxury. The first thing that stood out for me was the mix of Cypriot and international personnel. This was great because we saw a lovely blend of Cypriot and international cultures on board the ship.
The food was typical Cypriot food but wonderfully balanced out by international and ethnic food too. Breakfast, lunch and dinner (buffet and al la carte) is provided, but dinner was optional because many passengers prefer to eat and drink in the evening under the stars at the end of their sightseeing alongside the local people. Of course, there are several bars on board and you can buy wines (local Cypriot and imported wines), beers, and a range of spirits.
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All the ships have live entertainment on board in the evenings. These are live shows – singers and comedians – but the majority of the entertainment is cabaret style shows – think Lisa Minelli and ‘All that Jazz’….
The quality of these shows is absolutely fantastic. Some of my British friends told me that they think it’s worth going on the cruise just for the entertainment!
Not only that, but these large cruise ships also have one or two casinos on them as well – for those of you who like an occasional flutter.
The cabin standard is excellent. I was in an external cabin both times and this may be more expensive, but it was well worth the money because you see a brilliant view of the blue Mediterranean ocean from your cabin.
The day trips
The cruises are very well organised. You are given plenty of time on land for sightseeing, so there is no real pressure to be back on board. Meeting points are clearly indicated and are within close reach of the ship. All cruises from Limassol operate in the summer season, so you can expect to go mainly in July and August to these destinations.
These costs are based on 2019 pricing for cruises to Israel, Egypt and the Greek islands Louis Cruise lines and Salamis Cruises.
With the special package, an inside cabin for two adults starts from €235 per person while outside cabins start from €335 per person. For children sharing a cabin with at least two adults, the tickets are €120. These prices include fares, port taxes and full day excursion to Jerusalem & Bethlehem.
Sailings to Egypt are similar prices. Cruises to Lebanon are also two day cruises, and also those to the Greek islands (you get to see up to seven islands altogether on a 7 day cruise). Or you can split the islands into three or four groups and then your cruise ranges from three to six days.
An example of 2019 prices for the Greek Island cruises can be found on this website too. Note that the prices for both Louis Cruise lines and Salamis Cruises are the same or very similar for all their cruise trips, but it is also possible to get some discounts if you book directly from their websites.
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Royal Caribbean Cruise lines to stop at Limassol port
And now there’s another piece of exciting news that I should tell you about. The Cyprus government has managed to secure Royal Caribbean Cruise lines to stop at Limassol port en-route to their final destinations.
The idea is that these cruise passengers can stop off at Cyprus to visit this island and then resume the remaining part of their cruise. What’s more, Cypriots and Cyprus residents/tourists can join the cruise ship.
For 2022, Royal Caribbean Cruises provide an example of prices on their website. A three night Cyprus cruise is £194 (230 euros) per person. The website is not clear though about prices for those wanting to join the rest of the passengers on the cruise from Cyprus, probably because this is still only a fledging cruising arrangement. I’m sure that more details will come to light in 2022.