2013-2014 Greek Cruise Ports Trends and Statistics

Ambiguous is the evaluation regarding the largest cruise ports of Greece. According to first facts, some ports are expected to "sink" by guests who will cruise in the region in the coming months, displaying an increase up to 100%, while others are already counting fewer planned calls by 25% compared to 2012. 

2014 Forecast is even more encouraging; since large cruise companies have expressed their interest to not only call Greek ports, but also to use some of them as ports of departure for their cruises (home ports). The Russian and the Israeli market seem to adopt Greek ports as well with special packages that combine accommodation at luxury resorts and cruises to the Greek islands, while the Germans and Americans return after last year's absence.


Piraeus port

With the perspective of year 2014, when the Greek cruise industry hopes to reap the first fruits of the lifting of cabotage restrictions, this year begun already with the first dockings in Piraeus port. Piraeus last year(2012) welcomed more than 2 million cruise passengers, while this year the forecast predicts more than 2.2 million passengers. For 2013 only Cypriot interests Louis Cruises will use the port of Piraeus as home port for scheduled cruises, with northern Europeans and the Americans visiting Athens and its suburbs. (view Athens Shore Excursions)


Heraklion port

Greece's second most upcoming port, the harbour of Heraklion, displays figures growing by 50% compared to 2012. Awarded as the most upgraded port for 2012 by the journal “Cruise Insight”, during the international exhibition of Sea Trade in Miami (2013), the port has developed highly ambitious projects aimed to the Russian market with Russians, expected for the first time this year to enter massively in Crete. These packages combine accommodation in luxury hotels, excursions into the interior, and a five-day cruises to the islands.

Indicative of the upward trend is the fact that both Louis Cruises and Costa Cruises use Heraklion as their home port and for next year the Mediterranean Shipping Cruises (MSC) seems to integrate the Cretan port to be the starting point for several cruises. (view Heraklion (Crete) Shore Excursions)


Rhodes port

2013 forecast is favourable for the island of knights, despite the reduced scheduled arrivals. The adjustment of schedules of major companies operating in the area leaves hopes to cover losses until the end of the year. Important is the increase of interest by the Russians, while both the German and Austrian markets show signs of recovery.

"There may be a decrease of 25% in arrivals so far, but I think we can have different trend this year. In 2014 the cruise market will recover further, "said Harry Palogiannidis, director of Rhodian Tourism Promotion Agency.

Most encouraging are the signs for the following year, after Disney Cruises Line has scheduled some of its itineraries to have as starting and ending point the port of Rhodes. (view Rhodes Shore Excursions)


The first months of 2013 have started with the best omens: while other years only one to two cruise ships called the port of Mykonos in March, this year their number reached to ten. Fewer calls  however are scheduled for the summer months as the cruise ship calls decrease by 20% compared to last year. However, autumn cruise season will be very busy for the Cycladic island. (view Mykonos Shore Excursions)


Thessaloniki port

Double will be the number of calls this year(2013) for the Port of Thessaloniki, Germans and Israelis make up the majority of visitors. Indicative of the growth trend in Israel is the fact that this year three ships from the country are expected to call to the port of Thessaloniki, while in 2012 there was only one call.

Although last year large companies readjusted their routes, excluding Thessaloniki from intermediate destinations, this year the port in northern Greece seems likely to remain in the schedules of cruise giants, as well as in the coming years. In mid-April is expected the first arrival of cruise ship, German companies to call for the first time Thessaloniki. In addition Costa Pacifica of Costa Cruises will anchor this year again after an absence of several years. (view Thessaloniki Shore Excursions)


Igoumenitsa port

Situated in western Greece, opposite Corfu island, the port of Igoumenitsa is expected to receive three times more cruise ship calls for 2013, while in 2012 only four cruise ships visited the region. Three major cruise companies will be travelling with their ships through Igoumenitsa, two of which will make their maiden appearance.


Kavala port

Trying to take advantage of the proximity of the port to Istanbul and to join planned routes of cruise companies, executives of the port of Kavala look to the future with optimism.

"We have already reached by 80% last year's calls and will definitely do better this year, despite the competition," said head of the cruise sector in the Port Authority of Kavala. (view Kavala Shore Excursions)


Volos port

Executives of the port authority perceive with optimism large cruise ships return in the region, with up to 50% more calls compared to last year, with northern Europeans to be those who prefer mostly this stopover in Volos. Volos port is the getaway to the unique landscape and monasteries of Meteora and serves as starting point to visit the exquisite villages of Pelion, combining tradition, wild nature, mountainous and seaside scenery. (view Volos Shore Excursions)



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