Greece’s cruise industry is flourishing with increased cruise calls and privatised ports (image: Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum)
Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum 2019, which will take place in Athens on 28-29 May, will highlight the country’s growing cruise industry and credit US cruise lines and port privatisations for the success.
The conference will discuss the impending legislation that will start the second phase of privatising Greek ports, allowing global cruise port operators to invest in cruise terminal concessions with the aim of increasing homeporting. The first of these will take place in Alexandroupoli and Kavala, while later projects will begin in Corfu, Heraklion, Piraeus and Rhodes.
“Greece continues to be a region of great importance for the international cruise industry,” said Elisabetta De Nardo, vice president of Port Development at MSC Cruises. “In recent years, following geopolitical instability in other areas across the Mediterranean Sea, Greece has assumed an even more prominent role in Eastern Med cruise itineraries. The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is the top cruise event in this wonderful and strategic region that is the Eastern Mediterranean. I look forward to discussing the challenges and opportunities that we face with other stakeholders.”
Delegates at Posidonia will also discuss the many US cruise lines that have increased the number of visits to Greek ports in 2019 and 2020. Disney Cruise Line, for example, will resume operations in Greece in 2020, visiting the ports of Piraeus and Katakolon, and the islands of Santorini, Mykonos and Crete. Disney has also confirmed its participation at Posidonia.
European cruise lines also continue to schedule calls in Greece, for example MSC Cruises has planned around 400 calls for 2019. This year will also see significantly more small cruise ships carrying less than 500 passengers in the East Mediterranean. Posidonia attendees will discuss why this new trend is particularly important for the smaller ports that are unable to accommodate the larger vessels.
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