Sun, 22 May 2022

ATHENS, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Greek cruise industry recovered last year about a quarter of passenger traffic of record year 2019, according to data the Hellenic Ports Association (ELIME) released on Tuesday.

Following a year of minimal activity, with just 210 port calls by cruise ships and 67,528 passengers in 2020, the cruise industry in Greece recovered significantly in 2021, according to an e-mailed press release.

In 2021, a total of 1,957 cruise vessel port calls were made around Greece and 1,316,662 passenger arrivals were registered, excluding data from the last quarter in Greece's biggest port Piraeus.

ELIME estimated the sum of passengers will likely exceed 1.4 million across Greece if the Piraeus data for the October-December period also got factored.

The Greek ports with the most calls last year were Piraeus, Mykonos, Corfu, Rhodes and Santorini, while the highest number of passengers was recorded in Piraeus, Corfu, Mykonos, Rhodes and Katakolo.

ELIME further noted that prospects for 2022 are positive for the cruise sector in Greece "based on the increase in bookings recorded, the possibility of tourism season extension through new agreements, and the strengthening of homeporting at Greek ports, with companies in the sector heading ever more in that direction."

It added that these forecasts take for granted "the swift and efficient tackling of the expansion of the Omicron variant and the further containment of the pandemic."

"Companies in the sector and the ports take all necessary measures based on the existing health protocols in Greece so that passengers enjoy the highest possible degree of security in cruise tourism, a sector that has been considerably damaged by the pandemic," the port association stressed.

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