In efforts to ensure safety and improved accessibility and services for tourists, the Municipal Port Fund of Thira announced the launch of a cruise berthing management system that will regulate incoming cruise traffic to the island of Santorini.
The newly launched system will allow cruise companies to log in their arrival dates for up to two years ahead in order to secure a berth.
One of the world’s most popular destinations and a leading stop for major cruise companies, Santorini has in the past suffered from cruise ship congestion in the caldera creating both problems for the ships as well as for the thousands of tourists who wish to visit the island.
“It is not possible for cruise companies to plan their itineraries and wish to have a berth available 24 or 48 hours before arrival,” the port fund’s facility security officer, Anastasios Konidaris, told the Athens News Agency.
Speaking at a conference on sea transport last month, Konidaris said that companies had already submitted their requested dates for 2018 and that the port fund could now plan together with the companies should the need arise for changes.
“From now on, in October, cruise companies will be able to log into the system and submit their arrival dates for up to two years ahead,” he said.
According to the Thira Port Fund, 415 cruise ships are expected to arrive in Santorini this year compared to a total of 572 arrivals with 783,893 passengers in 2016.