Due to an interesting collection of circumstances I found myself on a different boat four days in a row this week, and am quite looking forward to a land-based evening tonight. Every Sunday I sing and host the Half Day cruise on the Sea Star, which sails from Paphos Harbour at 11am, stopping at Coral or Corallia Bay for swimming and lunch before sailing on to the Sea Caves and around St George island before returning to the harbour 3pm, with live singing and commentary on the two shipwrecks and other points of interest en route.
The next three cruises all sailed the short distance to Riccos (AKA Geroskipou or Aphrodite) bay and back, but there the similarity ended. On Saturday I joined the Jolly Roger for its famed pirate adventure. This boat carries three pirates, two acrobats and a magician, with a full plan of activities designed to keep the children entertained while parents can relax in the sun. Party games, face painting, songs and dances fall under the category of ‘pirate training’; and while the grown up pirates grab some well earned rest, the acrobats and magician take over. It’s exhausting to watch.
My next two cruises were both evening ones: the newest and biggest mega yacht boat on the harbour, the Ocean Vision, runs day cruises to Ricco’s and back with live saxophone, singer, MC and DJ -considerably more grown-up entertainment – and in the evenings does the same trip but with the benefit of the gorgeous sunset and either a six-strong singing and dancing showteam led by Matthew Edmondson and including Kaela Santosh as Tina Turner and her increasingly famous self, or a Cyprus dance team plus Matthew as MC. The Wavedancer offers similar daytime and evening trips but on Monday’s this year also hosts the Stardust drag show: one ‘straight’ man and three drag queens with multiple costume changes, plenty of comedy and live sung tributes to Cher and Elton John.
The Sea Star also offers daytime cruises to Latchi and back, or one the sails from Latchi to Paphos. All cruises offer transport from various points, mostly hotels, to the relevant harbour and back, included in ticket price.
A plethora of smaller boats offer glass-bottomed or turtle watching trips and all have little kiosks haggling for business around the harbour as well as presences online.
As long as one doesn’t suffer sea-sickness, boat trips are a fabulous way to pass a day or an evening: the water is cool and breathtakingly clear out at sea and the sea breezes are extremely welcome, particularly now the evenings are becoming muggy. It can be fascinating to see familiar landscapes from the sea – the hotels for example look very different from their road frontages. The local knowledge shared over the microphone by the hosts is kept up to date, giving possibly new insights to our home towns and teaching us a little more about our fascinating island.
Over in Protaras there’s a trip called The Mermaid Cruise on which entertainers tell children stories and play games about mermaids before trying to spot them out at sea. Two lucky ladies have the wonderful job of lounging on rocks brushing their hair before slipping into the water to swim to the boat, to be welcomed by and photographed with enchanted, awestruck children. Nice work if you can get it.
Jolly Roger, Sea Star, Ocean Vision, Ocean Flyer, Ocean Blue www.paphosseacruises.com