The reopening of Greece’s cruise sector beginning on August 1 was confirmed by Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis in a letter to the International Cruise Association and the three largest cruise companies which operate in Greece, including MSC Cruises, Costa, and TUI Cruises, the Tourism Ministry announced on Tuesday.
Theoharis stated that beginning finally on the first day of August, cruise ships will be allowed to visit six ports when first entering Greece, including Piraeus, Rhodes, Heraklion, Volos, Corfu and Katakolo.
After their first mooring, cruise ships will then be allowed to moor at any other Greek port included in their itinerary. Theoharis clarified that this plan will change only if new epidemiological conditions arise relative to the coronavirus.
“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 is responding to the cruise industry and introducing 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,” Theoharis stated.
As part of the announcement regarding the final opening of the cruise season, the Minister called on the companies in the sector to resume the procedures for “Homeporting” operations in Greece.
Theoharis also asked all the major international cruise agencies to recommend that their customers make trips to Greece outside the summer season this year, emphasizing that “The current season extends to the end of the year.”