CLIA welcomes the restart of cruise tourism in Greece as of May 14th, in line with the timeline presented months ago by the Greek government. Since last year, cruise resumption has been the result of extensive and fruitful collaboration between the cruise industry, the Greek Government, health authorities, and ports.
More than 20 cruise lines are currently scheduled to set sail on cruises around Greece this year, with calls at 45 ports in total, demonstrating the dynamics of the industry as well as the dynamics of Greece as a top cruise destination. At least 15 of these cruise lines will home port in Greece. Remarkably, cruise operations started from day one of the reopening with 4 cruise lines already expected to operate during May. In total almost 40 cruise ships are projected to sail in Greece this year.
“We are extremely happy with the restart of cruise travel in Greece. The restart marks the culmination of the excellent collaboration our industry has with the Greek government. In particular, Minister of Tourism Theocharis and Minister of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy Plakiotakis, with their structured and focused work on the restart timeline and the ports’ preparedness, helped to make cruise travel possible again, on time” says Maria Deligianni, National Director Eastern Mediterranean, CLIA.
The health and safety of passengers, crew and destinations are an operational imperative and priority for CLIA members as cruise lines resume operations responsibly. Our industry-leading protocols, which were developed in collaboration with EU Healthy Gateways, national governments, public health authorities and ports, go beyond those found in nearly any other setting, giving the government, passengers, and crew confidence that the latest science and medical advice has been included in the industry’s planning.
CLIA members account for 95% of global ocean-going cruise passenger capacity, and the CLIA Member Policy for Mitigation of COVID-19 applies to all CLIA ocean-going cruise lines worldwide carrying 100+ persons travelling on itineraries to international waters. The focus is on strict embarkation procedures and on universal (100%) testing of passengers and crew, together with new sanitation procedures on board, strong monitoring mechanisms and strict rules for shore excursions.
This great momentum for cruise tourism in Greece will be highlighted in the coming Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum 2021, the bi-annual international Conference & Exhibition dedicated to cruising and sea tourism, taking place on May 25th, where all major industry players and stakeholders will exchange ideas and share initiatives for post-pandemic cruising. Pierfrancesco Vago, CLIA Global Chairman and Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, Ukko Metsola, Director General, CLIA Europe, and Maria Deligianni, National Director Eastern Mediterranean, CLIA, will address the Forum, discussing the latest challenges for the industry as well as the importance of Greece as a cruise destination.
The return of cruise in Greece is a welcome boost to the cruise communities and the people employed in the Greek cruise sector, which generates almost 1 billion euro to the Greek economy, as well as those whose livelihoods depend upon the industry, including travel agencies, tour guides, port operators and many other service providers across the country. With more than 5 million passenger visits per year, Greece continues to be one of the most popular cruise destination countries globally.