The Union of Cruise Shipowners and Associated Members (EEKFN) called on the relevant authorities to work towards upgrading existing port infrastructure or moving ahead with related projects on the islands, during their recent visit to the Greek ports of Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Heraklion and Santorini.
The union met with municipal administration, port authorities and local tour operators, and discussed ways to improve the quality of services and the safety at ports which handle cruise ships and passengers throughout the summer. Among other issues, the union called for the extension of the summer period to full year operation.
Topping the agenda were issues concerning infrastructure on islands accommodating cruise ships, including special terminals for passengers, modern piers, special points for embarkment and disembarkment, the creation of a home port in Heraklion, Crete, which will be connected to the airport for quicker transport as well as the installation of a cable car on Santorini for the quickest transfer of passengers from the port to the island’s main sites.
The union also stressed the need for regional authorities to find ways to tap into the National Strategic Reference Framework funding Programs (known as ESPA) in order to carry out and implement infrastructure projects at island ports across Greece.