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Interview – Dimitris Psaltis: The Prince of Athens Offers an ‘All of Greece’ MICE Experience

Having a soft spot for the sea and the Greek god Poseidon as his inspiration, Greek MICE expert Dimitris Psaltis from Boat Masters – a hands-on yacht management company – came up with the Prince of Athens, a yachting concept offering an “all of Greece” unique experience.

Available for private groups and special events with a stylish character, the Prince of Athens promotes the best the Athenian Riviera has to offer, including sailing towards Sounio, discovering the nearby islands, taking a trip to the Cyclades and enjoying a romantic sunset onboard.

“The Athens Riviera is ideal for MICE projects and the Prince of Athens is a perfect match for making it special while onboard a luxurious schooner ship,” Dimitris tells GTP Headlines, underlining that innovative products is what the industry needs to move forward and stand out from competition.

Dimitris’ professional background includes partnerships with leading MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) offices and established tourism businesses. He also has an active role in the tourism startup community.

The Prince of Athens is his most recent brainchild, which began at the beginning of the year and offers tours all year round.

“On the Prince of Athens, people enjoy barefoot luxury at its finest,” he says.

For next season, Dimitris is preparing corresponding projects that will stimulate Athens’ maritime tourism.

“My focus is always on culture, marketing and tourism. But most of all, I have an appetite for creativity and aim for new business activities and synergies that will spruce up the sector,” he says.

“…We got the most elegant boat, hired the best crew, added a few more destinations, and here it is: the Prince of Athens, an “all of Greece” unique experience, exclusively for the MICE market.” – Dimitris Psaltis

  • GTP: Dimitris, please share some career highlights with our readers.

Dimitris Psaltis: Well, I will never forget the craziness of working in small travel companies around Syntagma Square, selling everything to everyone!
The late 90s is a period that I strongly remember. It was then that I entered the world of MICE and started working with really inspiring people.
I must tell you that traveling has made me see things from a different perspective. Listening to the right people and sharing ideas with them, has been extremely helpful in every step of my professional journey.
As I have always been fascinated by the sea, I took the extra challenge of creating the Prince of Athens, a “salt, water & gold” job – as I love calling it.

  • GTP: You have many years of experience in the MICE industry under your belt. And now you have managed to connect this know-how with private yacht chartering, offering a special experience to visitors. What inspired Boat Masters to create the Prince of Athens concept?

Dimitris Psaltis: I think I owe my inspiration to Poseidon, the god of the sea!
Just a few years back, I designed the “Sounio Cruise” experience, aiming to change the way people see and visit the archaeological sight. It has now transformed into a multi-activity experience by land and by sea. that combines cruising, swimming, trekking, learning, tasting, and more.
I must say that people really love it!
So, we got the most elegant boat, hired the best crew, added a few more destinations, and here it is: the Prince of Athens, an “all of Greece” unique experience – exclusively for the MICE market – that stays clear from crowds and roads!

  • GTP: The Prince of Athens concept introduces travelers to the best of the Athenian Riviera and nearby islands. Why exactly did you select to promote the Athenian Riviera?

Dimitris Psaltis: You see, we have a natural and historic treasure in our hands. Athens was the sea empire of Ancient Greece. Since then, the Gods have blessed our city with a wonderful coastline and with some places really worth visiting.
The Athenian Riviera hosts numerous beaches, rocky formations and quite a few small islets with turquoise waters to discover. The sea is always calm here, the sky is cloudless and the sunset is absolutely magical. What more you could ask from a destination, just moments away from the Acropolis?
The Athens Riviera is ideal for MICE projects and the Prince of Athens is a perfect match for making it special onboard a luxurious schooner ship.

  • GTP: Can you describe an experience on the Prince of Athens? What is the vessel’s itinerary? How does the Prince of Athens offer yacht lovers a different charter experience, compared to other companies in the industry?

Dimitris Psaltis: On the Prince of Athens, people enjoy barefoot luxury at its finest! We start with a warm welcome and a refreshing herbal beverage. With Maria Callas singing Bizet’s “Carmen” in the background, we cruise by the Athenian Riviera. A sunny yoga session and a stop for diving in turquoise waters allows people to come to terms with nature. After a refreshing swim, it is time to taste some healthy snacks while cruising towards Sounio. Poseidon welcomes us and people learn about the myths of the ancient times. A chilling prosecco is waiting us back onboard and then our chef takes control for a sequence of delicious dishes, complemented by the colors of the sunset. All of this takes place while the music is on, turning the whole experience into a once in a lifetime party.

The Prince of Athens is not a plastic yacht or a soulless day activity at sea. When onboard, our guests feel as if time has shifted back to the 19th century. They get the real, open-air feeling of being in a classic motor sailer that becomes one with the sea level. Everyone feels the positive energy of the natural, wood and bronze materials. And they feel close to us for offering them royal treatment, as if they are Kings & Queens!

  • GTP: Who exactly is the Prince of Athens’ target audience? Individual travelers? Incentive clients? Is the vessel also available for private parties and events?

Dimitris Psaltis: We only accept bookings for private groups and special events with a stylish character! Our clients are around 80 percent MICE organizers (mostly from Europe and the United States), 10 percent are event managers from multinational companies and 10 percent are dukes and marquises who want the best for their once in a lifetime occasion! Commercial filming and late afternoon private parties onboard the Prince of Athens are our favorites. Have you seen Möllers recent TV advertisement? Do you like the dolphins playing around the Prince of Athens?

The Prince of Athens "stars" in Möllers' recent TV advertisement.

The Prince of Athens “stars” in Möllers’ recent TV advertisement.

  • GTP: Have you considered expanding this experience/concept to other parts of Greece? Where?

Dimitris Psaltis: The “Prince” is such a unique vessel that it is hard to find anything like it in the whole Mediterranean Sea. When the time comes and we have such resources, I would definitely consider expanding the business to other Greek MICE destinations.

  • GTP: What are your future plans? What will be your primary focus over the next year?

Dimitris Psaltis: For 2020, my focus is to further enrich the Prince of Athens experience and increase the number of bookings during the low season. At the same time, I am working on a similar project for the niche market, which is to be materialized within next summer. Within the next couple of years, we plan to include two to three vessels in our fleet for themed cruises in selected destinations.

  • GTP: As a tourism professional, what challenges do you face in the yachting industry?

Dimitris Psaltis: There are many things to be done to educate people on yachting tourism. Minimum standards/skills should be set per position and everything should work on a process-based scheme.
Bureaucracy is also a tremendous issue. You need to have an unlimited stock of energy and time to spend before getting involved with yachting!

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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