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Greek Homeporting Sees Decline, European Cruise Council

Heraklio Port, Crete

Heraklio Port, Crete

The number of passengers that disembarked on Greek cruise destinations from circular cruises that homeported in Greece continued to drop in 2011, according to a report presented during the sixth annual conference of the European Cruise Council (ECC) in Brussels.

“Following the record high of 503,000 passengers in 2009 that represented 10.1 percent of total European home porting, we fell to 336,000 passengers (-6.4 percent) in 2010 and 313,000 in 2011 (-5, 6 percent) just after Germany,” Andreas Stylianopoulos, vice president of the Association of Greek Passenger Shipping Companies (SEEN), told the press.

Greece is the third most popular cruise destination, with a 17 percent share of the market, but only sixth when it comes to the amount of revenues earned, according to figures released by the ECC.

Mr. Stylianopoulos underlined that as long as no real effort to attract home porting is made, even with incentives, the Greek economy would benefit merely some four percent from the total revenue of European cruise.

However, the association’s vice president said he hoped homeporting in Greece would change now that the very competitive Greek regional homeports of Heraklion and Rodos are “in the game.”

As of 29 June, Heraklio (Crete) is the homeport for Costa Atlantica on a 7-night Mediterranean cruise that will provide 26 itineraries this year (18 in the summer and eight in the winter).

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