Zenobia by Howard

November 21, 2022

Cyprus: Zenobia 2022 – 30th Anniversary Trip

On 30th Sept to 2nd October 2022, RSAC made our annual pilgrimage to dive the Zenobia.  

This ferry sank in 1980 and the club has had a trip there every year for the past 30years. It’s acknowledged to be one of the world’s top ten wreck sites, and that explains why we keep going back. In fact, for 2 members of this year’s group it was their 30th year!  Congratulations to Niall and Martin.  Once again we dived with Viking Divers, who looked after us very well.

RSAC team in Zenobia.
RSAC team in Zenobia.

The wreck site is in the Mediterranean, only about a 10min boat ride from the harbour in Larnaca, South Cyprus. The 172 metre long Zenobia is often referred to as the Titanic of the med and sank to the sea bed in the early hours of the 7th June 1980 due to a ballast control problem on her maiden voyage. She rests on her port side at a maximum depth of 42m and her starboard side sits at about 18m. The Zenobia was a ro-ro ferry en-route from Malmö, Sweden to Tartous, Syria and was fully laden with over 100 Lorries and trailers. Also on board were forklifts, tractors, the Captain’s Lada car and masses of pristine cargo.  

The wreck is still largely intact and swim-throughs of the bridge, upper lorry deck and crane supply shaft are straightforward. For the more adventurous, with a guide, entry to the accommodation, middle lorry deck, chain locker, and engine room are also possible.  Visibility is typically 20m around the wreck, and water temperature at this time of year is 28deg C in the top 30m reducing to 22deg C near the seabed.

For those who want to explore Cyprus after the diving is over, there are many ancient sites dating back hundred or thousands of years.

A great time was had by all!

Deep dives!