The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) on Thursday said it expects Greece to see a significant increase in cruise ship calls from this year.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Posidonia 2022 shipping exhibition in Athens, Maria Deligianni, CLIA’s National Director in the Eastern Mediterranean, referred to data that confirms the upgrade of Greece’s role as a leading cruise destination.
According to the association’s figures for this year, from the 279 cruise ships of CLIA member companies worldwide, 87 will operate in Greece in 2022, of which 47 will homeport in the country. This is a trend that started in the midst of the pandemic, when Greece led the resumption of cruising, but continues with the same dynamics.
“2022 is the year we return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of number of cruise ships in operation, while in 2023 we expect to exceed the number of passengers compared to 2019,” Deligianni said.
Especially for Greece, she said CLIA expects a significant increase in cruise ship calls already from this year.
“A total of 25 different cruise companies will visit our country this year, more than ever before,” Deligianni added.
According to data released by the Hellenic Ports Association (ELIME), cruise ship arrivals at Greek ports in 2022 are expected to rise by 25 percent compared to 2019.
Sustainability a top priority for CLIA
CLIA attended Posidonia 2022 which took place at a critical moment for both shipping in general and cruising in particular, which is not just resuming full operation but also sees its performance return to pre-pandemic levels.
Marie-Caroline Laurent, CLIA’s Director General in Europe, who attended Posidonia and met with leaders of the industry, highlighted that sustainability is a top priority for CLIA.
The association’s members have committed to pursuing net zero carbon cruising by 2050 and in order to reach this goal they make significant investments in new, technologically updated vessels.
“Of course, CLIA’s sustainability goals are broader than net zero carbon emissions,” Laurent said.
“Cruising is an integral part of sustainable tourism, especially in Greece, which is a top cruise destination, and we our committed to support further sustainable development of the sector.“
Aiming for sustainable development, CLIA has teamed up with local and port authorities to assess the sustainability status of the municipalities of Corfu and Heraklion, among others, and to map out a plan for a future of sustainable tourism.
“And we extend this effort to other destinations in Greece as well, as the country gains a stronger position as a leading cruise destination,” Laurent added.