Greece Set to Permit Cruise Ships from Turkey Ports

Cruise ship in Santorini Island, Greece.

Cruise ship in Santorini Island, Greece. Credit: Pxfuel

Cruise itineraries have been recently re-established between Greece and Turkey. Cruisers can look out for cruising between Greek and Turkey with this new development, which comes after the Greek Government lifted restrictions on ships calling at the Turkish ports of Galatport Istanbul and Kusadasi. The restrictions were earlier imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision was made so that the tourism industry in the cruise sector could benefit from the development. With the Turkish ports available, experts expect it to motivate cruise companies to intensify their presence in Greece in 2022. Plus, it will facilitate companies to plan a complete cruise product for and Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea.

After the communication with the two ports, the Greek authorities expect both ports to have an established public health emergency contingency plan in place that’s grounded on European standards. Moreover, the ports are expected to have the capacity to provide relevant public health emergency responses.

The cruise ships are allowed to arrive in Greek Territory (regardless of the flag), provided they come from countries for which no specific restrictive measures apply. Plus, they must meet the terms and conditions as per the instructions of the Ministry of Health, which are posted on the Greek Ministry for Naval Affairs website.

In this context, MedCruise has been working hard to achieve the resumption of Greece – Turkey cruises. Association President Aris Batsoulis had updated the authorities, including national administrations in Greece and Turkey, elaborately. MedCruise arranged site visits of the EU Healthy Gateways joint action team in the ports of Istanbul and Kusadasi. During the visits, they demonstrated how the process and protocols could ensure safe cruising. Moreover, MedCruise said it had the strong support of CLIA Europe, cruise lines, and the scientific support of the European Union’s Healthy Gateways joint action team led by Christos Hadjichristodoulou.

Greece was earlier moving full speed ahead to promote Greece as a winter and spring destination and keep tourists coming. In this direction, Vasilis Kikilias stated that the tourism ministry was looking forward to launching two new campaigns. At the same time, negotiations are ongoing to speed up the opening to tourists in the spring. He added that they would also support alternative forms of tourism, and everyone would see measurable results.

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