Restoring cruise travel to Greece once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides topped the agenda of a teleconference this week between Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Theoharis underlined the importance of cruise travel for Greece, and added that steps are being taken to restart once the epidemiological conditions allow.
“Last year, Greece was a frontrunner with regard to the global resumption of cruise travel,” said Theoharis, adding that the ministry was working “even more vigorously” in the same direction planning this year’s opening.
“Cruise, as one of the main forms of tourism for our country, is very important for the Greek economy. Therefore, it is necessary to maximize cooperation and efforts in order for cruise to open safely as soon as possible,” he said.
The minister also mentioned alternative ways to promote Greece and enhance the overall experience to cruise travelers including the promotion of Greek products on board.
“In this way the ‘Greek Experience’ will be heightened on each cruise ship,” he said.
Theoharis also discussed the possibility of extending the tourism season to the end of the year and said the ministry would be supporting cruise businesses in every step of their effort to restart travel.
CLIA representatives expressed their commitment to support tourism to Greece in the coming years. Speaking on behalf of CLIA, Maria Deligianni, representative for the Eastern Mediterranean, said “the cruise industry has worked diligently to introduce improved protocols to protect passengers, crew, and local communities”.
“Greece is an important cruise destination and we look forward to proceeding with its safe resumption, always in cooperation with the competent authorities,” she added.
A number of international cruise companies and operators, including Carnival Group, Celebrity Cruises/Royal Caribbean, Celestyal Cruises, Costa Cruises, Marella Cruises, MSC Cruises, Mystic Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant, Royal Caribbean Group, Silversea Cruises, and TUI Cruises participated in this week’s meeting.