The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) on Thursday said it welcomes the restart of cruise tourism in Greece as of May 14, in line with the timeline presented months ago by the Greek government.
More than 20 cruise lines are currently scheduled to set sail on cruises around Greece this year, with calls at 45 ports in total, demonstrating the dynamics of the industry as well as the dynamics of Greece as a top cruise destination. At least 15 of these cruise lines will home port in Greece.
“Minister of Tourism Theoharis and Minister of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy Plakiotakis, with their structured and focused work on the restart timeline and the ports’ preparedness, helped to make cruise travel possible again, on time,” said Maria Deligianni, National Director Eastern Mediterranean, CLIA.
According to CLIA, cruise operations in Greece started from day one of the reopening with four cruise lines already expected to operate during May. In total, almost 40 cruise ships are expected to sail in Greece this year.
The association highlights that the return of cruise in Greece is a welcome boost to the cruise communities and the people employed in the Greek cruise sector, which generates almost 1 billion euro to the Greek economy, as well as those whose livelihoods depend upon the industry, including travel agencies, tour guides, port operators and many other service providers across the country.
“With more than 5 million passenger visits per year, Greece continues to be one of the most popular cruise destination countries globally,” said CLIA.
The importance of Greece as a cruise destination will be highlighted at the upcoming Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum 2021 that will run on May 25.
Health safety a priority for CLIA members
The health and safety of passengers, crew and destinations are an operational imperative and priority for CLIA members as cruise lines resume operations responsibly. The protocols for cruise travel focus on strict embarkation procedures and on universal (100 percent) testing of passengers and crew, together with new sanitation procedures on board, strong monitoring mechanisms and strict rules for shore excursions.