Deputy Ministers for Tourism and Shipping Savvas Perdios and Vassilis Demetriades respectively have welcomed the assurances by Royal Caribbean’s interest to invest in Cyprus.
And they both expressed their readiness to enhance the Mediterranean island’s cooperation with the cruise liner.
Officials and media representatives were hosted in the world’s biggest ship, the Wonder of the Seas docked in the Limassol port, with Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean’s Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa announcing that Limassol will be included in the company’s destinations in 2022 as part of its trips in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Recalling that the cruise vacation company operated in the island for the first time in 2021, with the Limassol port as its base with the cruise liner Jewel of the Seas, Bouldin said that in 2023 Limassol will be among the destinations in 2023 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,” he said.
Cyprus, Bouldin added, 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 basis pillar in the Royal Caribbean’s growth plan in Europe, adding that in the context of enhancing Royal Caribbean presence in the region, the company has decided to cooperate with a number of local tour operators.
“We want to build our brand reputation here in Cyprus and this means investing in relations and collaborations,” Bouldin said.
He furthermore added that Royal Caribbean will be the main sponsor of the football club, Apollon of Limassol, expressing hope the club will join the European football championships promoting the company’s logo.
Concluding, Bouldin said that the relationship between Royal Caribbean and Cyprus is blossoming, is built upon a wonderful cooperation, yielding benefits for the tourism sector.
On their part, both Cypriot Deputy Ministers assured that Cyprus will support cruise line companies.
Savvas Perdios said it is 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,” he said.
On his part, Deputy Minister for Shipping Vassilis Demetriades referred to the facilities offered by Cyprus during the pandemic concerning crew changes, recalling that over than 55,000 seafarers assisted by Cyprus were able to return home, while Cyprus promoted a national vaccination programme covering 40,000 seafarers.
“Cyprus being a shipping state, we feel responsible for supporting seafarers and all personnel working aboard ships and that is why as a government have decided to facilitate them since the onset of the pandemic.”