As part of the Greek Tourism Ministry’s plans to boost cruise activity this year and establish Thessaloniki as a main home port in the region, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said on Wednesday that the northern port city would be welcoming the first cruise ship of 2022 on February 5.
Thessaloniki’s port on Saturday will welcome the Viking Sky cruise ship of Viking Cruises.
Kikilias also announced that the ministry would be working with airport manager Fraport Greece, the Thessaloniki Port Authority and an investor to provide check-in and luggage transport services for passengers arriving from Makedonia Airport to embark on a cruise from Thessaloniki or departing after a cruise.
The aim, Kikilias said, is to “give more time and quality to visitors and travelers in Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia and throughout Northern Greece”.
“This means we’re giving cruise passengers more time to spend in the city,” he added.
Kikilias discussed the details of the collaboration with Fraport Greece COO Ilias Maragakis, Thessaloniki Port Authority Executive President of the Board Thanos Liagos, and Dimera Group CEO Artur Davidian.
The minister also announced that the port’s cruise terminal would be undergoing renovation works. The news, he said, demonstrates that efforts to extend the tourism season in Greece are paying off as well as the benefits of cruise travel for Northern Greece.
“Synergies like these combined with infrastructure upgrades strengthen our tourism product and bring more revenue, which is distributed not only to port investors or Fraport, but mainly to the average Greek family and the hundreds of thousands of employees in tourism,” Kikilias said.
Other cruise companies expected at Thessaloniki’s port this year include Azamara Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Celestyal Cruises, Croiseurope Cruises, Hapag Lloyd Cruises, Mano Cruises, Noble Caledonia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Silversea Cruises, according to the city’s port authority.