Sean Treacy : “Cyprus provides ample opportunity to experience something new, interesting and exciting”
“Cyprus presents a fantastic gateway to explore the Eastern Mediterranean and that we will continue to sail to Cyprus in the coming years. In 2022, Rhapsody of the Seas, another Royal Caribbean ship, will be visiting Cyprus on several itineraries, allowing even more of our guests to explore this incredible island”. Mr Sean Treacy, senior vice president, International, Royal Caribbean Speaks exclusively to Enalios and reveals Caribbean’s next plans for Cyprus and the Mediterranean.
Q. How did you make the decision for Royal Caribbean to establish a base in Cyprus?
A. Cyprus is a wonderful destination for cruise and is incredibly popular with our guests in Europe. We are continuously evolving our itineraries as we know our guests are eager to discover new destinations and experience new adventures; together, Royal Caribbean and Cyprus can offer just that. Over the last year, we have worked closely with the Cypriot government and we are very grateful for their collaboration, which has been instrumental in supporting our European return to service.
Q. Do you see a prospect in the development of cruising on our island?
A. Limassol is a new homeport for Royal Caribbean, with Jewel of the Seas sailing from Cyprus to Greece and the Greek Isles this summer. The country presents a fantastic gateway to explore the Eastern Mediterranean and I have no doubt that we will continue to sail to Cyprus in the coming years. In 2022, Rhapsody of the Seas, another Royal Caribbean ship, will be visiting Cyprus on several itineraries, allowing even more of our guests to explore this incredible island.
Q. Were the incentives given to the Caribbean by the Cypriot government to build a base in Cyprus, attractive?
A. Absolutely. The most important incentive has been the open communication and ongoing collaboration we have had with the Cypriot government over the past months. We share the common goal of safely re-opening international travel and have worked hard to make this goal a reality. It’s thanks to the support of the Cypriot government that our guests can once again enjoy wonderful, memory-making experiences.
Q. How did your regular travelers receive your arrival in Cyprus and tell us if there is any interest in charter flights arriving on the island, especially for cruises with Royal Caribbean?
A. The announcement of our arrival in Cyprus has been incredibly well-received. Jewel of the Seas is a stunning ship and our 7-night Cyprus, Greece and Greek Isles itineraries are very appealing to our guests, particularly in Europe and the US. We have organized several charter flights to arrive on the island from key airports, most notably from the UK where guests can fly directly from 4 key airports.
Q. The luxury ships of Royal Caribbean are in Cyprus in a relatively difficult period with the pandemic. Are the indications positive or does it take time for the travelers to trust the cruise?
A. All signs are looking positive. Royal Caribbean has been operating in Singapore since last December, where we have successfully sailed with over 80,000 guests. In recent months, as well as Cyprus, we have been sailing from the Bahamas, Miami and the UK, receiving fantastic feedback from our guests and peak guest satisfaction scores. We are very optimistic for the coming months.
Q. How much has the pandemic affected a huge company like yours?
A. It’s been an undeniably tough 16 months for everyone, but especially those in the travel and tourism sector. At Royal Caribbean, we are fortunate to have the incredible support of our loyal guests, who love our product offering and have been eager to return to cruising since the start of the pandemic. Our investors are also confident in our swift recovery and we have been able to raise the necessary capital to see us through this difficult time. Since pausing operations in March 2020, we have worked hard to look after our employees, including our thousands of international crew, and we have also supported our invaluable travel partners.
Q. Does your company enjoy services from the local market? Mechanical services, catering and other necessities from the supply chain of Cyprus?
A. Yes, in any destination that we visit, especially a homeport, we source many local resources and supplies, from technical and mechanical equipment to fuel and hotel supplies. We also contribute to the local economy both directly and indirectly through the requirement of jobs, transport links and pre and post cruise hospitality for our guests.
Q. What impressed you most about Cyprus as a Mediterranean island and tell us if you are thinking of including Cypriot delicacies in your variety of restaurants.
A. Cyprus provides ample opportunity to experience something new, interesting and exciting, including activities, events, customs and places that are unique and special to the island. It really is a beautiful destination and I hope to return to the island again soon.
Cypriot food is excellent, and I have no doubt that guests onboard Jewel of the Seas will be enjoying sampling the local delicacies. Our ships serve a vast range of cuisine from all around the globe and our excellent food and beverage team will always look to the destinations we visit for culinary inspiration.
Q. Mediterranean cruises only in summer or all year round? What is the purpose?
A. Our ships are currently scheduled to visit the Mediterranean in the summer months but, as a cruise company, we are fortunate that we can always tweak and adapt our itineraries and the destinations we visit to offer our guests new experiences, so never say never!