Monday, July 28, 2014

Zenobia Cruise

The Zenobia Shipwreck is situated in the Mediterranean Sea in Larnaca Bay about 1.4 km off the coastline of the city of Larnaca, which is within the Larnaca district of Cyprus.

Zenobia was a Swedish ferry that sank during its maiden voyage in June 1980.  All 140 passengers abroad were safely evacuated from the ship.  However, there were 108 lorries on-board that remained with the shipwreck.  Zenobia is a 10,000 ton ferry that's 178 meters in length and 16 meters in depth to the top of the wreck, while 43 meters in depth to the sea floor.

Today, Zenobia is considered one of the top ten wreck dive sites in the world, and it has become a protected artificial reef.

Zenobia Week, which was from June 23 until June 30, focused on promoting the Zenobia shipwreck as a prominent diver's destination.

According to a Zenobia Week handout, there are "ten reasons why Zenobia is ranked as the best wreck diving site in the world," as listed below:
  1. Zenobia sank on its maiden voyage, and that's why it's characterized as 'The Titanic of the Mediterranean.'
  2. It's considered massive in size with 174 meters in length, 28 meters in width, and 21 meters in height, making it the largest wreck in the Mediterranean.
  3. Zenobia carried 108 lorries with all their cargo, including cars, military equipment, games, food, and telecommunications systems, which are all still under the sea for divers to explore.
  4. One of the lorries was carrying one million eggs, most of which remain intact at the bottom of the sea, even after 34 years.
  5. Zenobia has turned into a reef with hundreds of fish species, such as giant tune, local barracuda, king-fish, jacks, trigger fish, moray-eels, stingrays, turtles, and octopuses, etc.
  6. The shipwreck has enriched the biodiversity of the sea and the divers can enjoy corals, sea anemones, and other sea microorganisms.
  7. The waters in Larnaca's seas are considered warm.  In the summer, water temperatures typically reach 25 degrees Celsius, while in the winter, it's usually a minimum of 16 degrees Celsius.
  8. The sea in Larnaca Bay is considered safe.
  9. Zenobia is easily accessible, since it's only ten minutes by boat from the Larnaca Marina.
  10. There's considered to be exceptional visibility around the wreck, which reaches up to 50 meters.
The Zenobia Week handout continues to share that "Zenobia might be the best and largest, but it's not the only wreck in Larnaca.  There are five more wrecks in Larnaca Bay, including a British helicopter."

Zenobia Cruises were one aspect of Zenobia Week geared towards non-divers.  These free 45-minute cruises were offered twice daily from the Larnaca Marina to the Zenobia Shipwreck with glass bottom boats.

The term "glass bottom boats" is slightly deceptive, which is portrayed in the accompanying photos for an accurate depiction.  However, it's still a worthwhile trip for non-divers, especially for those interested in a brief, yet lovely, sea cruise in the Larnaca area.  Simply be aware that the Zenobia Shipwreck might not be visible from the boat, even through the small glass windows at the bottom of the boat.

Zenobia Cruises are quite enjoyable for both locals and tourists.

Site: Zenobia Cruise and Zenobia Shipwreck. 

Category: Activity and Nature. 

Location: Larnaca Bay and 1.4 km from the city of Larnaca, within the Larnaca district of Cyprus.

Phone Number: 24657071 and 24656949. 

Operating Hours: N/A. 

Entrance Fee: Free during Zenobia Week, yet prices tend to vary. 

Date of Visit: 2014.

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