33. The Mysterious Zenobia
One of the most famous wreck diving sites of Europe hides a lot of secrets.
Many of the scuba divers like diving at sunken wrecks. It's a real adventure to explore a mighty ship's remains. The MS Zenobia is really exciting dive site: both the story of the ship and the diving experience are extraordinary.
The Zenobia which was launched in 1979 in Sweden was a huge ship with its 172 meters length. But she had a quite short carreer as a RO-RO ferry as it was sunk in the June of 1980 close to the harbour of Larnaca in Cyprus. The sinking of the new ship was incredible and she took more than 100 trucks under water.
Because the wreck lies between 16 and 42 meters depth, even beginner divers use to visit it while the most experienced technical divers enjoy it as well. The wreck is close to the city of Larnaca, the dive boats reach it in a few minutes so the Zenobia is a must dive for all scuba divers who travel to the island of Cyprus. The water is quite warm even in the autumn, many divers prefer these less crowded months.
Certainly the divers with less experience don't descend to the deepest point but it's much to see in the shallow too. The can swim above the starboard site and can see some of the trucks. It's really strange to see the vertical deck where they fixed the trucks which are rusting there.
The advanced divers can explore the huge rooms inside the wreck too. Imagine you take your Spark Action Light dive lamp and let's have a look there! There is the bridge and the restaurant, those are easily accessible spots where you can swim through. It's recommended to use your dive light in the bridge to see the instruments. You can look around in the cockpit of the trucks too.
In the cargo decks there are dozens of trucks. As a Hungarian company, we are excited to know there are several Hungarian trucks as well. There is a passenger car too, a Lada which was manufactured in the Soviet Union. This famous car was owned by the captain. These huge, closed cargo decks should be visited only skilled divers who has the necessary qualifications and equipment.
The technical divers can visit those hidden spots of the wreck of Zenobia which are accessible for only a handful of visitors. Those divers who know the wreck better can arrange different routes for a week long diving expedition from the cargo decks to the engine room! Penetrating some places are too risky for recreational divers, only skilled wreck divers can visit them.
If you are not interested in the huge steel hull or the rusting trucks but prefer marine life, Zenobia offer a nice dive for you too. There are plenty of fish around the wreck, you can see shoals of them. There are tiny nudibranch, moray eels are hiding in the holes, and there are huge, lazy groupers around the deck. The lucky divers occasionally meet big turtles, sometimes you can see these calm animals near the Zenobia.
If you have a chance to travel to Cyprus, the Zenobia wreck is the dive site not to missed. Maybe you leave some of your diving equipment home, but don't forget your dive light. This is the place where you will definitely need it!