Greece Welcomes More Than 4 Million Cruise Passengers in 2022
Cruise tourism to Greece picked up pace in 2022 with 48 Greek ports welcoming 4,614 cruise ship arrivals and 4.38 million passengers, said the Hellenic Ports Association (ELIME) this week.
According to ELIME, the number of cruise ship stops up to September 2022 exceeded pre-Covid 2019 levels by 16 percent with the figure expected to reach 20 percent for the whole year. Passenger arrivals were still down over 2019.
In 2022, the number of cruise ships stopping at Greek ports increased by 123.5 percent over 2021 (2,064 cruise ship arrivals) and by 209 percent in terms of passenger arrivals compared to 1.41 million a year earlier.
Top cruise destinations in 2022
Top cruise destinations in Greece were Santorini, Mykonos, Piraeus, Corfu, Rhodes, Heraklion, Patmos and Katakolo.
Leading destinations in terms of cruise ship passengers were Santorini, Mykonos, Piraeus, Corfu, Rhodes, Heraklion and Katakolo followed by Chania, Kefalonia–Ithaca, Patmos, Lavrio, Thessaloniki, Volos and Nafplio.
To demonstrate the demand for Greece, ELIME said cruise ship arrivals at Lavrio increased by 291 percent in 2022 over 2021, in Thessaloniki and Santorini by 259 percent, Mykonos by 141 percent, Volos by 114 percent, Corfu by 96 percent, Rhodes by 95 percent, and Heraklion by 92 percent.
Additionally, homeporting activity also increased at the ports of Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Lavrio, Corfu and Heraklion (Crete).
Earlier this year, the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) said it was expecting based on prebooking data almost 800 cruise ships to make port calls at Piraeus in 2023 with cruise passenger arrivals set to rise by 16 percent over 2022.
Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias has said that further developing cruise tourism and ensuring cruise ship arrivals all year round are top priorities for the ministry. Looking ahead, ELIME expects a good year for cruise travel to Greece with current bookings up by around 15 percent for almost all destinations.