Cruise travel to Greece is expected to pick up pace in 2018 following a slow year in 2017, according to pre-booking data presented at Seatrade Europe, a leading trade event for the European cruise industry held in Hamburg last week.
Industry insiders are expressing optimism that figures will show a slight improvement in the coming year after a 24 percent decline in the summer of 2017 down by 1,030 ship arrivals at Greek ports and a decrease of 15 percent or 750,000 in the number of passenger arrivals.
Other trends include increased interest in Asia with routes for some 32-35 cruise ships carrying 3,500,000 passengers already scheduled for the region backing an annual market rise of 23-24 percent.
Theodore Kontes, president of the Union of Cruise Ship Owners & Associated Members (EEKFN), told To Vima that in order to maintain our current position, bring in more passengers and become more competitive, the state must improve services offered, upgrade infrastructure as well as airline connections. Last year, cruise giants replaced Turkish destinations with Greek ports boosting cruise ship passenger arrivals to 5.2 million, up from 4.9 million a year earlier.