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Cruises to Limassol

Limassol (Photo:Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock)
Limassol (Photo:Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock)

About Limassol

Limassol, the largest coastal town in Cyprus, sprawls around Akrotiri Bay, midway between Larnaca and Paphos and close to the southern foothills of the Troodos Mountains. It's the island's principal cruise port.

Cyprus is the kind of destination where you have to venture off the beaten track to uncover the true nature of the place. At first glance, Limassol is a low-rise, sun-baked, urban sprawl, slightly chaotic and architecturally uninspiring. Scratch the surface, particularly around the castle area, and you'll find a tangle of shady, pedestrianized streets in the medieval center; ancient mosques alongside Greek Orthodox churches; and broad shopping boulevards, lined with boutiques that showcase up-and-coming designers. Its waterfront, still in the process of being developed, offers a sculpture park and lovely vistas of the bay. All in all, Limassol has, for years, been a pleasant -- if not exactly cutting-edge -- destination, in terms of style and cuisine.

Immediately outside the town are rolling hills, olive and citrus groves and tiny villages, where locals still use donkeys for transport. Limassol is at the heart of the island's wine-growing industry, and visitors will see dusty vineyards, clinging to the sun-bleached, sloping hills.

It might not otherwise feel old, but Limassol, which dates to at least 2000 B.C., is the gateway to sites of antiquity, such as Kourion, with its Greco-Roman Theatre, and, nearby, the Temple of Apollo. Also worth a look is Nicosia, the only capital city in the world to be divided by force (by Turkish and Greek Cypriots).

If you feel like a low-key day, you'll appreciate Limassol itself. Despite the city's busy urban setting, Limassol's 200,000 residents demonstrate a healthy respect for the work-life balance, spending time in coffee shops, strolling along the beach in the evenings and dining in large family groups in the many tavernas and restaurants. This attitude gives the town a holiday atmosphere, even in the spring and late autumn. The tourist season is long, with cruise ships calling from April or May up until early November. Limassol essentially exists in two parts. The main town is the closest area to the port, where you'll find, just inland, the medieval castle and the main shopping boulevards of Makarios III and Agiou Andreou. The beach stretches all the way from the waterfront to the far end of Akrotiri Bay, a narrow ribbon of development that has been dedicated mainly to four- and five-star hotels.

Limassol is ideally situated for cruise passengers, as it's in the middle of everything. The important archaeological sites of Kourion, Kolossi Castle and Limassol Castle are less than 30 minutes from the port. Day trips into the mountains and wine-growing areas are easily manageable. Paphos, an attractive UNESCO World Heritage site and major tourist center, is less than an hour away -- thanks to efficient motorway links -- while the capital, Nicosia, is an hour inland to the northeast.

Visitors to Cyprus tend to remember the friendliness of its people. Everybody in the hospitality trade speaks English, and everybody -- from taxi drivers to taverna proprietors -- will engage visitors in conversation. People are not on the make here, although they're pretty entrepreneurial; they're just naturally and delightfully hospitable.

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DAY 1: Dubai

18 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Dubai
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Abu Dhabi, Fujairah ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Miami

117 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Miami
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Antigua, St. Lucia ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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DAY 1: Rome

12 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Rome
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Katakolon, Athens ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Rome

21 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Rome
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Athens, Kusadasi ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Kusadasi, Patmos ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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19 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Dubai
Visiting:
Salalah, Safaga ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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20 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Istanbul
Visiting:
Dikili, Kusadasi ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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18 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Rome
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Monaco, Florence ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Athens
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Kusadasi, Istanbul ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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20 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Kusadasi, Rhodes ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Haifa
Visiting:
Jerusalem, Limassol ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Limassol, Haifa ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Athens
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Jerusalem, Haifa ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Limassol, Jerusalem ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Kusadasi, Istanbul ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Patmos, Jerusalem ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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116 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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24 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Porto, Gibraltar ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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22 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Dubai
Visiting:
Abu Dhabi, Aqaba ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Cairo, Jerusalem ...
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Cruise Line:
Celestyal Cruises
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86 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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56 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Sydney
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Brisbane, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Naples, Agios Nikolaos ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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116 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Limassol

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Alexandria, Jerusalem ...
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Cruise Line:
Azamara
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Why go to Limassol?

Pros:

This bustling city is known for its proximity to jaw-dropping ancient historical sites

Cons:

Take care to watch your wallet and personal belongings in busy, tourist-filled areas

Bottom Line:

As Limassol is surrounded by world-class archaeological treasures, history buffs would do well to take day trips outside of town

Limassol Cruise Port Facilities?

The passenger terminal houses currency exchange facilities, public telephones, a poorly stocked duty-free shop and a tourist information booth.

Good to Know?

Limassol and Cyprus generally are relatively safe places, but keep an eye on personal belongings (as you would in any busy tourist spot). Be careful crossing the main road that runs along the seafront in Limassol's Amathus area; people tend to drive too fast there and not pay attention. Finally, apply plenty of sunblock; the sun is extremely strong, and it's easy to get burned. Remember, Cypriots drive on the left, so be careful when crossing the street.

Getting Around?

Cyprus has three types of buses: inter-urban, rural and urban. Urban buses are fine if you want to make short hops around town. But when you only have a day and want to explore, the most realistic way to sightsee is either to join a tour or to drive yourself -- because buses are slow and not always reliable. Plus, some of the major sights are in the middle of the countryside. Self-driving options are enormously popular, from cars and quad bikes to mopeds, bicycles and dune buggies. Driving is on the left, so Brits feel very much at home.

Limassol features plenty of taxis. Urban taxis have meters and can be hailed on the street. Rural taxis have to be booked in advance (ask a taverna owner or shopkeeper to call one for you) and don't use meters, so agree on the fare before departing.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Cyprus uses the euro. For current currency conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in the resorts, although some tavernas in the more remote areas might only take cash. Traveler's checks can be cashed in all the major banks. Banks are usually open from 8:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with some located in tourist areas (the main Amathus strip, all along the seafront, beyond the main town and the area around the medieval castle in the center) opening in the afternoons, as well.

Language?

Greek is the official language, with local variations in the dialect. Almost all Cypriots in the tourist areas speak excellent English, and road signs are in both languages. Place names appear in the Anglicized version of the town's original Greek name, so Limassol is Lemesos, Paphos is Pafos, and Nicosia is Lefkosia.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships dock at the Limassol New Port, a combined cargo and passenger facility, located five kilometers (three miles) west of Limassol center. Some cruise lines provide shuttles to the old town center; otherwise, taxis line up at the port when a ship is in. The walk is not especially attractive, particularly in the heat of summer; save your energy for the town itself. Inconveniently, car-hire services are not available at the port, and if you prebook a rental car, you will be charged extra for its delivery to meet your ship.


Limassol Cruise Reviews

Queen Mary 2 (QM2)
feljen
Sail Date: Apr 2018
Limassol wasa relaxing resort packed with locals enjoying their weekends. Very enjoyable.... Read More
Celestyal Crystal
Bell2cruise
Sail Date: Mar 2020
walked off ship. pretty waterfront, nice little town to walk around... Read More
Hairmimi
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Easy walk to the town, pretty quiet as it was a Sunday... Read More
Jewel of the Seas
Noble724
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Great overview of Paphos. Leisurely pace.... Read More
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