Greece recorded a drop in cruise ship arrivals and passenger visits in 2017 compared to 2016 due to political instability and geopolitical developments in surrounding destinations of the eastern Mediterranean region, which sharply reduced cruise ship traffic at the ports of these countries.
According to figures 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).
However, the top 10 Greek destinations remain the same as in all previous years, with the port of Piraeus in first place in terms of cruise and passenger arrivals. The only notable change is that Santorini slipped in the rankings from second to fourth place, overtaken by Mykonos and Corfu.
Specifically, the port of Piraeus recorded 576 arrivals of cruise ships with 1,055,559 passenger visits, compared with 625 arrivals of cruise ships and 1,094,135 passenger visits in 2016.
Mykonos had 501 cruise ship arrivals in 2017 with 699,304 passenger visits, compared with 596 arrivals and 722,517 passenger visits in 2016.
Corfu, 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. Next in the list are Katakolo, Rhodes, Heraklion, Chania, Patmos, Kefalonia and Ithaca.