Greece welcomed 4+ million cruise passengers in 2022

   February 11, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Last year, 48 Greek ports welcomed a total of 4,614 cruise ships and 4.38M passengers, the Hellenic Ports Association (ELIME) announced this week.

ELIME said the number of cruise ship calls up to September 2022 exceeded pre-COVID levels by 16% with the figure expected to reach 20% for the whole year. However, passenger arrivals were still down over 2019.

Last year, the number of cruise ships visiting Greek ports increased by 123.5% over 2021 (with 2064 cruise ship calls) and by 209% in terms of passenger arrivals compared to 1.41M a year earlier.

The top cruise destinations in Greece include Santorini, Mykonos, Piraeus-Athens, Rhodes, Heraklion Crete, Corfu, Katakolon, and Patmos.

Leading destinations in terms of cruise passengers include Santorini, Mykonos, Piraeus, Rhodes, Heraklion, Katakolon, and Corfu, followed by Chania, Kefalonia-Ithaca, Lavrion, Patmos, Thessaloniki, Volos, and Nafplio.

In order to demonstrate the demand for Greece, ELIME revealed that ship arrivals at Lavrion had increased by 291% in 2022 over 2021, in Santorini and Thessaloniki by 259%, Mykonos by 141%, Volos by 114%, Corfu by 96%, Rhodes by 95%, and Heraklion by 92%.

Homeporting activity also increased at Piraeus, Lavrion, Thessaloniki, Corfu, and Heraklion.

Earlier in 2023, the PPA-Piraeus Port Authority said it was expecting based on pre-booking data ~800 ships to make port calls at Piraeus-Athens in 2023 with passenger arrivals set to rise by 16% over 2022.

Port of Piraeus-Athens (Greece)

According to Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, further developing cruise tourism/ensuring cruise ship arrivals all year round were top priorities for the ministry. ELIME expects a good year for cruise travel to the country with current bookings up by ~15% for almost all destinations.