Royal Caribbean launches cruises to Greece and Cyprus for vaccinated travellers

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Vaccinated travellers could be cruising around the Mediterranean this summer as cruise liner Royal Caribbean has said it will run trips for fully vaccinated travellers from July around Cyprus and Greece.

The “Jewel of the Seas” will take passengers from Limassol in Cyprus (which will act as a new homeport) to Athens in Greece, as well as the Greek islands of Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos and Santorini.

It will begin sailing seven-night cruises from 10 July and bookings for the voyages can be made from 7 April.

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"We are delighted that Royal Caribbean will call Limassol its homeport for the first time ever," deputy minister of tourism for Cyprus, Savvas Perdios said in a statement.

"This has been an ambition of ours for many years, and we are thrilled that, finally, this dream has come to fruition. We have every confidence that Royal Caribbean's presence in Limassol will be beneficial to Cyprus and, similarly, we are very confident that as a homeport and as a country, Cyprus will live up to the expectations of Royal Caribbean and its guests."

Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas will set sail from Limassol, Cyprus in July 2021 (Royal Caribbean)
Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas will set sail from Limassol, Cyprus in July 2021 (Royal Caribbean)

Travellers over the age of 18 must be fully vaccinated against coronavirus to go on the cruise and those younger than 18 must present negative Covid-19 test results.

Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International said in a statement: “I’m delighted to announce our safe and gradual return to Europe. We know how eager our guests are to enjoy a getaway this summer, and these sailings, which include a mix of fantastic destinations and must-visit islands, make for the perfect getaway.

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“Cyprus is a beautiful island, and we are thankful to the Cypriot government for their support and enthusiasm in making these incredible itineraries possible.”

The ship itself spans 13 decks and has pools and whirlpools, as well as a spa, fitness centre, rock-climbing wall, casino, sports court, nine-hole miniature golf course and an outdoor movie screen.

Athens is one of the destinations on the new Royal Caribbean Cruise (Getty)
Athens is one of the destinations on the new Royal Caribbean Cruise (Getty)

Travellers hoping to join one of the sailings must meet the travel requirements of their home country as well as Cyprus.

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Currently, travellers from the UK are not permitted to enter Cyprus and it is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays.

A new law has also been introduced today, 29 March, that states those travelling from England must have a “permitted reason” to travel abroad including work, volunteering, education, medical or compassionate grounds, weddings and funerals until at least 30 June. Those travelling without a valid reason could face a £5,000 fine.

While 17 May is the pencilled-in date that foreign travel from England could begin again, we should know more once the government taskforce report is released on 12 April.

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