Later this year the anchor port of the Eastern Med will start a 156 mill euro expansion in order to accommodate larger ships via two new berths. Just in time for the arrival of Carnival Vista in 2016, Piraeus traffic has stabilized and is trending upward.
The general manager for the port, Hatzakos Stavros, shared that the Vista being there for turnarounds was very positive for them and the Eastern Mediterranean in general. He added that other companies would follow.
Piraeus plays a key role in just about any itinerary featuring the Eastern Mediterranean. Port’s cruise terminals are a walking distance from the Metro station and the city of Piraeus. Athens’ market center and the renowned Parthenon are easily accessible for guests.
The port of Piraeus is also involved in a plan to attract winter traffic. According to Stavros, they had already established a discount of more than 30% for vessels coming during winter months, on top of some other price cuts for winter calls. The weather conditions in Piraeus are very good, even in the winter.
Hopefully predicting the future, Hatzakos Stavros said he thought Istanbul should also have an upgrade done within 5 years. He noted that would help a lot, and along with stability in neighboring countries, would be excellent. That area was unique and cruise companies would take advantage of it.