Limassol and Haifa are the only ports where passengers will embark on Rhapsody of the Seas
Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas cruise ship sailed into the port of Limassol this morning, with the Deputy Ministers of Shipping, Marina Hatzimanolis and Tourism, Costas Koumis, welcoming the inclusion of Cyprus in its itineraries. Limassol and Haifa are the only ports where travelers will board Rhapsody of the Seas, with its itinerary including, in addition to the two “home ports”, Rhodes, Piraeus, Santorini, Mykonos, Chania and the Kusadasi.
In welcoming her on board, the Deputy Minister of Shipping, Marina Hatzimanoli, stated that it is an honor for Cyprus to choose the port of Limassol for the Rhapsody of the Seas itinerary, and added that “we are particularly proud that the leading shipping registries in the world are listed in the Cyprus Register and even more proud of the fact that this includes Royal Caribbean's Spectrum of the Seas cruise ship from January 2023”.
“We are grateful for the trust you have shown in the flag of Cyprus, putting our country on the world cruise map,” he said and indicated that with the expected operation of the group's office in Limassol, which will be the center of shipping activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, “Cyprus is established as a quality cruise center and our tourism product is strengthened, with significant benefits for tourism, Limassol and the wider local economy”.
Marina Hatzimanoli assured that “the Deputy Ministry and the Cypriot Government will continue to support the group and offer quality shipping services, looking forward to further strengthening the cooperation we have achieved so far” .
Besides, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Kostas Koumis, said that after its presence in Cyprus with the Jewel of the Seas, Royal Caribbean is returning with the Rhapsody of the Seas, thanks to the group's good relations with Cyprus and the contribution of the Cypriot Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Christos Karavos.
“Last year we had satisfactory arrivals from cruise ships, around 343 thousand people and we estimate that we will have a small increase this year and maybe even a small increase next year as well” , he said and underlined that it is not enough to “stick to the numbers”.
It is very important, he pointed out, “to record the satisfaction of visitors, and this is inextricably linked to the infrastructure of our country, which has improved a lot in recent years, but following the developments around the cruise sector, perhaps we should let's see how they improve even more”.
The arrival of large cruise ships adds value to our tourism as thousands of foreign visitors are given the opportunity to get a taste of our island and expressed the opinion that many of them may return to our country, either through our ports or airports , noted Mr. Koumis.
For his part, the Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa of Royal Caribbean, Christos Karavos, stated that the ship sailed yesterday from Haifa, Israel with more than 2 thousand passengers and today 207 people will board it from the port of Limassol.
As he said, Rhapsody of the Seas, which has 12 decks and is 915 feet, was the largest cruise ship when it was built 1995, while today it is the smallest cruise ship of Royal Caribbean International.
Today the largest cruise ship of the group and the largest in the world is considered the Wonder of the Seas, 1,187 feet long, while at the beginning of 2024 it will make its maiden voyage of the voyage, from Miami, the world's new largest ship, the 1,197-foot Icon of the Seas. The 1,187-foot Utopia of the Seas will join Royal Caribbean's fleet in the summer of 2024.