The cruise port of Heraklion has seen a 30% increase in arrivals this year compared to the same period last year, with 237 cruise ships bringing in 364,000 passengers.
Minas Papadakis, Managing Director at the Heraklion Port Authority, said there will be 20 more arrivals by the end of 2023, all contributing to a much-needed off-tourist season boost to the local economy.
Papadakis attributed the increase in cruise arrivals to the fact that the ports of Heraklion and Haifa were included in joint cruise schedules. However, because of the war in Gaza, Heraklion became a premier destination for many tourists.
According to reports from the Heraklion Port Authority, American tourists accounted for the largest group of visitors, followed by British, Italian, and German tourists.
- American tourists arrived in large numbers – 91,000, accounting for ¼ of the total cruise passenger flow
- British (50,000 passengers)
- Italians and the Germans (from 40,000)
- Spanish, Austrians, and French, who exceeded 8,300.
The data suggests that the Americans were open to spending, unlike the Europeans, who were more frugal.
In 2034, the Heraklion Port Authority expects 300 cruise ship calls, with the return of TUI Cruises being particularly significant. Local authorities will schedule programs to promote visits to cultural sites and the Cretan hinterland to enhance the visitor experience.
We believe we will do even better next year and hope to reach 500,000 visitors through the cruise. Our goals are to recommend other visits, beyond those to the Knossos Palace and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, and to include the hinterland in the proposed excursions, in order for our visitors to get to know the Cretans and their traditions.Minas Papadakis cited by Nea Kriti in: Αύξηση 30% κατέγραψε η κρουαζιέρα στο Ηράκλειο