The reopening of Greece’s cruise sector from August 1 was confirmed by Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis in a letter to the International Cruise Association (CLIA) and the three largest cruise companies that operate in Greece (MSC Cruises, Costa, TUI Cruises), the tourism ministry said on Tuesday.
The tourism minister officially announced that from August 1, cruise ships will be allowed to visit six ports when entering Greece. Specifically, these are the ports of Piraeus, Rhodes, Heraklion, Volos, Corfu and Katakolo. After their first mooring, cruise ships will be able to approach any other Greek port included in their itinerary. Theoharis clarified that this regime will change only if new epidemiological conditions arise.
“All cruise ships are welcome in Greece, in order to offer a unique experience to all their passengers,” the minister said in his letter, stressing at the same time that “Greece is the first country that responds to the cruise industry and introduces health protocols especially for this form of tourism. The health procedures that will be applied under the supervision of the Greek authorities on cruise ships, are based on the published standards of the European Union (EU Healthy Gateways), while they have been adapted to Greek legislation and the domestic figures.”
On the occasion of the announcement regarding the launch of cruises, the minister called on the companies in the sector to resume the procedures for Homeporting operations in Greece. Also, Theoharis asked the big international cruise agencies to recommend that their customers make trips to Greece outside the summer season. “The current season extends to the end of the year,” he underlined.