Maritime Life on the Med makes a splash
Cyprus is rightfully seen as an idyllic crossroads between Europe, Africa and Asia right in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, ensuring that the population became seafarers and the island a marker on several important trade routes. In the 19th and 20th centuries the country was part of the British Empire, eventually becoming independent in 1960. With the seafaring tradition helping merchant shipping to develop, new legislation adopted in the early 1960s gave ship managers and owners a tax-efficient business environment. The maritime industry’s reaction was positive and Cyprus has not looked back since. Shipping services are now a mainstay of the local economy, bringing in over 7% of GDP and employing over 4,000 shore-based personnel and over 55,000 seafarers from around the globe. The country’s international ship register is the 11th largest in the world.
Though Cyprus has always been famed for its sea, sand and sun, it was its maritime shipping history that helped it to eventually move almost effortlessly into yachting, the elite side of sailing. Oh, and if yachting fails to float your boat, so to speak, you can always go scuba diving. Cyprus is proud of its reputation as one of the top diving destinations. A dive off the Cypriot coast can be just as rewarding as a scuba dive in the Red Sea.
Business and Leisure Symbiosis
The marina in Larnaca, the third largest city, continues to handle fishing and leisure boats. It provides berthing for 450 yachts, but is full to the brim. The St. Raphael Marina in Limassol only serves yachtsmen, including those from distant shores. Its yacht club organizes races, flotillas and other gatherings. Yachting became even trendier with the unveiling of Limassol Marina in 2014. The €350 million integrated waterfront development was a trailblazer. It offers 650 berths for vessels ranging from 8 meters to 110 meters in length. It is the first super yacht marina in the country and the only development in the Med that provides marina berths in front of private villas.
Going from strength to strength
The development lies at the heart of Limassol, the second largest city after Nicosia, and includes luxury residences. Restaurants and shops can be found in the nearby commercial center. Limassol Marina hosts an annual boat show every May, at which over 100 exhibitors showcase luxury yachts and yachting services. The marina developments will soon be joined by Ayia Napa Marina, an integrated development whose construction is well under way and is setting the pace for the latest in luxury developments.
As of September 2017, half of all the units available for sale had already been snapped up at Ayia Napa Marina, with buyers looking for first-mover investment opportunities. In essence, around luxury 190 apartments will be housed in two iconic towers with a 600-berth full-service marina and shops and eateries. Exceptional facilities will be available. The marina will be able to handle yachts up to 60 meters in length and state-of-the-art berthing facilities. The first part of this ambitious project is scheduled for completion in June 2019, with the second part slated for autumn 2021.
With Ayia Napa Marina reported to be aesthetically unique in both architecture and design, it is certain to give extra eye candy appeal and add to the reputation of Cyprus as a holiday destination for yachtsmen and non-yachtsmen alike.
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