Greece Looking Into Capping Cruise Ship Visits

Santorini

According to Bloomberg, the Greek government is considering putting a cap on cruise ship visits in certain destinations.

Mentioning Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the news outlet said that the country’s most popular islands could soon see the creation of restrictions to cope with the “effects of over-tourism in the post-pandemic period.”

Santorini is the most sensitive destination, he told Bloomberg, with Mykonos also raising the government’s concern.

According to Mitsotakis, the new rules are not finalized and could enter into effect as early as 2025.

Limiting the availability of berths and anchoring slots could be an option to help alleviate the growing pressure on the destinations, he added.

Cruise lines would need to participate in new bidding processes or auctions to secure these slots for their vessels.

In mentioning the potential restrictions in a post on LinkedIn, Celestyal Cruises’ CEO Chris Theophilides said that the Greek authority’s stance is “to be applauded.”

“We fully support this desire for responsible tourism. We are united in a collective approach, both with our stakeholders and fellow cruise line operators, to introduce greater measures that ensure beautiful locations in Greece – and indeed across the world – are enjoyed by all.”

“As a local cruise line that operates smaller ships, we have a particular interest in responsible tourism for our homeland and the enjoyment of our guests,” he continued.

“Increasing measures such as enhanced berth request systems and scheduled visit times to popular landmarks, such as The Acropolis, will ensure tourists can enjoy marquee destinations responsibly, with fewer crowds and fewer pressures on the local communities,” Theophilides said.

Offering multiple itineraries to the Greek Islands, Celestyal Cruises currently operates the 1,270-guest Celestyal Discovery and the 1,258-guest Celestyal Journey.

The largest cruise ships visiting Mykonos and Santorini on a regular basis in 2024 include Norwegian Cruise Line’s 4,200-guest Norwegian Epic and Royal Caribbean International’s 4,200-guest Odyssey of the Seas.

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