Salamis Targets Niche Med Market

Salamis Filoxenia. Photo DIMITRIS MENTAKIS

“The cruise business plays a significant role for our overall company, fitting in with our tourism activities,” said Kikis A. Vassiliou, general manager of Salamis Cruise Lines.

The Salamis Organization, based in Cyprus, has various travel interests including a tour company and a seasonal cruise operation. The group has its own ro/ro ship and container vessels. There’s also a ship management division working with passenger and cargo vessels.

The cruise operation runs out of Cyprus from May to October with the 800-passenger Salamis Filoxenia, which the company acquired in 2010 at a bankruptcy auction for about $6.5 million. The ship was originally built as a cruise ferry for the Black Sea Shipping Company in 1975.

“Our passengers are mainly Cypriots, Brits, Russians and other European nationals,” said Vassiliou. “The local market has special requirements and expectations, therefore special care and attention is involved in itinerary planning.”

The ship homeports in Limassol, offering three- and seven-day itineraries to Greece. There are also two-day cruises to Israel and longer itineraries that touch Malta and Italy.

Future growth will come in extending the cruise season, he said.

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