In news from Greece, last season saw a big dive in cruise ship arrivals and passenger visits compared to 2016. Reports blame the drop in visits on political instability and geopolitical developments in surrounding destinations of the eastern Mediterranean region. According to tourism officials, the overall climate of instability sharply reduced cruise ship traffic at the ports of these countries.
According to data released by the Hellenic Ports Union “ELIME“, cruise ship arrivals decreased by around 20,5 pct in 2017 (from 4,307 in 2016 to 3,415 in 2017) and cruise passenger visits fell by approximately 11 pct (from 5,204,231 in 2016 to 4,625,363 in 2017).
Overall, there is still good news for the Greek market, since the top 10 Greek destinations remain the same as in all previous years. The port of Piraeus in first place in terms of cruise and passenger arrivals, with the only notable change being that Santorini slipped in the rankings from second to fourth place, replaced by Mykonos and Corfu. Piraeus recorded 576 cruise ship arrivals with 1,055,559 passenger visits, compared with 625 arrivals of cruise ships and 1,094,135 passenger visits in 2016.
The port of Mykonos welcomed 501 cruise ship arrivals in 2017 with 699,304 passenger visits, compared with 596 arrivals and 722,517 passenger visits in 2016. The port of Corfu island, which ranked third, recorded 410 arrivals of cruise ships and 679,681 passenger visits in 2017 followed by Santorini, with 406 arrivals of cruise ships and 620,570 passenger visits. And finally, Katakolo ranked fifth on the list of top 10 Greek cruise destinations in 2017, followed by Rhodes, Heraklion, Chania, Patmos and Kefalonia/Ithaki.