Some of the world’s largest luxury liners have docked at Heraklion port this summer, including Princess Cruises’ the Princess Emerald with some 3,127 passengers on board, Costa Crociere’s the Costa Classica carrying 1,518 travelers as well as luxury vessels from Windstar Cruises, Princess Cruises, Celestyal Cruises, Cunard and Aida cruises.
The port authority has launched a promotional strategy that includes a welcoming event with traditional delicacies, Cretan song and dance, flash mob events, as well as Greek and Cretan cooking lessons and a farewell fiesta with the local philharmonic orchestra performing soundtracks and scores from favorite musicals.
“HPA’s efforts and close collaboration with local sector professionals have once again successfully promoted the competitive merits of Heraklion as a primary tourist destination, the security it offers and the link between its products, culture and tourism,” said HPA chairman and managing director Ioannis Bras.
Mr Bras also referred to the success of the HPA’s “Five Senses” program, which gives visitors the chance through activities and events to experience Cretan hospitality firsthand through its cuisine and culture.
In view of the current economic situation, the HPA expects cruise ship/passenger traffic figures to reach the goals laid out in November 2014.
According to HPA, the port of Heraklion is the only Cretan destination to have achieved all-year-round tourism status, with arrivals of luxury liners in the traditionally “non-season” months of November through to February.
As part of its ongoing efforts to promote Heraklion as a 12-month tourism destination, the HPA will be participating this year in the Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Cruise Convention in Hamburg on September 9-11.