TRAVEL: Louis puts Cyprus back on cruise map with Celestyal

Celestyal Cruises, the cruising division of Cyprus-listed Louis Plc, is returning to its home base towards the end of the year, offering five week-long cruises out of Limassol, calling on Piraeus, Rhodes, Alexandria, Ashdod and Kusadasi.

Dubbed the ‘3 Continents’ cruise, packages are advertised as starting from Euros 849 on board the Celestyal Crystal as of December 2, which complements the 3-, 4- and 7-day cruises in the Aegean with the 1200-passenger Crystal and the larger 1660-passenger Celestyal Olympia.

CEO Chris Theophilides said that in the five-year lifespan of Celestyal, operating out of Piraeus, 2018 was its record season with 108,000 passengers, with the aim being to reach 130,000 passengers.

He said that the company returns to Cyprus with 7-day cyclical cruises with Limassol as one if its ports of call.

There are no plans to utilise Larnaca port in any way, as that is a development project that is underway, and Celestyal has already announced its cruise itinerary for 2020 and will announce the 2021 packages in about three months’ time, he said.

Explaining that Celestyal is not a continuation in any form of the former Louis Cruise Lines, that operated mainly out of Limassol from the 1980s to 2000s, Theophilides said that Cyprus will once again feature on the cruise map, with 15 itineraries planned for 2020, starting earlier in the year.

He added that the cruising season has been extended and Celestyal plans to embark on year-round cruises.

Theophilides said that nearly half of all cruise passengers are from the Americas, with about 30% from Europe and neighbouring countries and a further 10% from Asia.

This passenger traffic will be directed to Cyprus for the first time, with major benefits to the local economy, he said.

Source: The Financial Mirror