Before the armies of Alexander the Great made their famous thrusts east toward lands unconquered, their ships called into port at Cyprus to be readied and refitted.

The same strategic location, at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa, that made Cyprus a crucial starting point for Alexander's expanding empire makes the island a desirable centre today for a calmer kind of maritime activity, cruising. Whether for a cruise that originates there, as a port of call or a fly and cruise option, today Cyprus is among the premier cruising destinations in the Mediterranean.

As the easternmost island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is a natural point of departure for exploring this amazingly diverse region. Throughout the year locally based cruise lines help locals and tourist alike to get a first-hand perspective of the splendours of ancient Egypt, major attractions in Israel and Lebanon and, of course, the Greek Islands. Every year there are around 800 such "mini-cruises" leaving from the port of Limassol (Lemesos), one of the leading cruise ports in the Mediterranean, carrying around 250,000 passengers.

Base of Discovery: At the crossroads of the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus can also be a great component of your Middle East odyssey that combines a visit to the island with Israel, Egypt, Lebanon or nearby Greek islands such as Rhodes. You can reach these destinations by air, most are an hour or less away by plane or cruise. Several cruise companies offer short but comprehensive itineraries to the most famous Middle East destinations, making Cyprus an ideal launchpad for the discovery of the region at large.

Port of history and civilisation

Many international cruise ships utilize Cyprus as a major port of call on their international European and Mediterranean itineraries. Every year more than 30 of the finest international cruise ships make more than 80 calls at the ports of Limassol and Larnaka carrying in excess of 100,000 passengers to visit the major attractions of Cyprus.

Boat trips along the coast of Cyprus

One day sea cruises in the crystal-clear Mediterranean waters are organised from May to October, weather permitting. These usually include drinks and snacks on board, with lunch served either on board or at a seaside restaurant.

Itineraries are as follows:

From Lemesos (Limassol) old Harbour to Lady's Mile beach and back.
From Pafos Harbour to Coral Bay, Pegeia area and back.
From Agia Napa to Paralimni, Protaras area and back.
From Larnaka Marina along Larnaka, Agia Napa, Protaras coast and back.
From Polis (Latsi) along the Akamas coast and back.

For more detailed information visitors are requested to contact the Sightseeing Tour Operators directly.