Today marks the resumption of flights at the airports and cruise services at the island’s ports, but Limassol port master Panayiotis Agathocleous does not expect cruise visits to resume before the end of the year or early 2021.
Speaking to CNA on the occasion of stage three of the relaxation of the lockdown which includes service for cruise ships, Agathocleous said that the cruise sector has suspended operations because of the pandemic and these are not expected to restart soon.
“Unfortunately cruises are very different from flights as they require a lot of preparation. It is also the question of itineraries and we are talking of a journey of 10 to 15 days that stops at different countries,” he said.
“It is also a question of the psychology of a passengers to board to travel with other people in a closed space for so many days,” he added.
Cruises are expected to be late in resuming he added, while expressing the hope that Cyprus ports may see cruise ships around the end of the year, otherwise in 2021.
Of the 72 cruise ship arrivals that were expected in 2020, some 55 which were scheduled for October-November have been cancelled.
However, despite the difficulties in the cruise sector, the decision of a leading international cruise company to anchor its liners off Moni has come as a welcome boost.
“it is a big success for Cyprus to attract such cruise ships because you appreciate that the financial and other benefits are huge.”
Other cruise companies as well as companies with oil platforms have also expressed an interest to follow suit.
Ports are continuing to operate normally with cargo, taking all the required safety measures, he added.