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Cruise Travel to Greece to Break All Records in 2022, Says Minister Kikilias

Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias

Greece is betting on cruise tourism as part of its campaign to extend the tourism season expecting a 300 percent increase in Thessaloniki alone, said Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias in an interview to SKAI television this week.

Kikilias said 2022 would be a year of all-time cruise arrivals as Piraeus and Thessaloniki will be serving as home ports. He referred to the first cruise ship set to arrive in Thessaloniki on Saturday (cruise ship Viking Sky of Viking Cruises) where check-in and luggage transport services for passengers will be included, adding that scheduled cruise arrivals at Piraeus are also on the rise.

Other destinations to benefit from cruise ship calls are Crete, Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos. The tourism minister added that there was huge demand compared to other years.

“We are sending out a message to the whole planet that Greece will remain open. Greece will welcome tourists earlier,” he said, adding that summer destinations should be ready on March 1. To achieve this, he said a regional tourism council would be held next week.

Kikilias reiterated that Greece had won over the trust of travelers and tour operators thanks to its efficient management of the Covid-19 crisis. This was reflected, he said, in the number of pre-bookings made last month and, in the revenue achieved in 2021, which came to nearly 11 billion euros greatly exceeding initial estimates.

“There is no doubt that whatever problems there are in the unstable global context of the pandemic, we will overcome them and succeed,” he said.

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