Strong Demand from U.S. for Greek Island Cruises
Americans bombard their travel agents for prices on cruises in Europe, including the Greek Islands. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) says that Europe will be on the cruise map this year.
“Member lines will deploy a number of ships in the region, with diversity and breadth of itineraries and ports, and an unprecedented number of passengers who recognize the incredible value European cruises offer.”
Collectively, the association’s 21 cruise lines will blanket the European cruising arena, with itineraries covering virtually every part of the region.
This year, lines are adding ports along the increasingly popular Dalmatian Coast in Croatia, Italy`s Puglia region, as well as the Greek Isles and the coast of Turkey.
Greek tourism specialists suggest that we could do much, much better. They say that at least 70 destinations in this country could attract cruise ships. Nonetheless, it is encouraging, they say, that this season, besides the entry of cruisers that have included Greece in their schedules, six cruise companies (including three Greek ones) will make return cruises to Greek destinations.
Some cruise lines have extended the European sailing season to a full nine months, while others will have a presence within the European region year-round.
Many CLIA lines also are adding more overnight port visits, which enables guests to have more time to thoroughly explore ports on shore excursions that have become increasingly more diverse and adventuresome.
Many of these ports are also ideally suited for exploring independently, by foot or rental car.
“CLIA-member travel agents are reporting that Europe cruises are in high demand, with some of their customers already reserving space for 2008,” said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the chief marketing organization for 21 cruise lines and 16,500 North American travel agencies.
“All indicators point to a record-breaking season. Travelers who haven`t made their Europe cruise booking yet this year are well advised to take action immediately.”