A new cruise passenger terminal was inaugurated at Thessaloniki Port on Sunday with passengers disembarking from the Europa 2 cruise ship of Hapag Lloyd Cruises.
The Europa 2 ship berthed on quay 9, using the new cruise passenger terminal located in a renovated building on pier 2.
The port also welcomed the Celestyal Crystal cruise ship of Celestyal Cruises that berthed on quays 4-8, using the “Makedonia” Passenger Terminal, as scheduled every Sunday.
It was the first time Thessaloniki’s port welcomed two cruise ships at the same time, at two different passenger terminals.
The new cruise terminal of Thessaloniki includes two quays, 9 and 10. Quay 9 (intra-Schengen) received its first cruise ship on Sunday, and quay 10 (non-Schengen) is expected to operate as of June 18. According to the port authority, with an overall length of 320 meters and 9.5 meters of draft, quay 10 will be able to serve any cruise vessel size from around the world.
ThPA SA continuously invests to upgrade port’s level of service
According to ThPA SA – Port of Thessaloniki Chairman and Managing Director Thanos Liagkos, the authority is continuously investing to develop the port’s infrastructure to upgrade the services offered to cruise companies and passengers.
“The second passenger terminal is one more strategically important investment in the port’s infrastructure, which upgrades our position in the international port industry and creates new development prospects for Thessaloniki and the wider region,” Liagkos said.
Cruise activity in Thessaloniki began to show an upward trend since last year with the city increasingly being included in itineraries of major cruise companies.
“Cruise development establishes an additional channel of incoming tourism and creates diverse and multiplying benefits for the local economy and society,” he added.
At the recent Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, representatives of leading cruise companies agreed that Thessaloniki has all the potential to receive up to 200 cruise ship calls – from the 69 expected in 2023 – in the next two years.
According to a study on the economic impact of cruise activity in Thessaloniki, cruise tourism is estimated to generate 10.8 million euros in annual revenue to the city and wider metropolitan area.
Regarding employment, with the expected number of cruise ship calls at the port of Thessaloniki this season at 69, the study estimated that cruise tourism will sustain 111 full-time jobs annually.
Special reception at new terminal
The opening on Sunday of the city’s second passenger terminal, which is decorated with photos and dedicated visuals for the destination by the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization, was marked by a special reception organized by ThPA SA.
Held in cooperation with the Region of Central Macedonia, the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization, the opening of the second terminal included a warm welcome, full of music and traditional dances, for passengers.
In addition, as on every cruise ship arrival, representatives of the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization were present at both terminals to welcome the passengers and the crew of both vessels and offer them useful information about the destination.