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Piraeus Port Strike Sends Cruise Ships to Turkey

krouaziera-limani-peiraias-olpThe continuing strike of Piraeus Port workers impedes cruise ships from docking and as a result the vessels are forced to go to Turkey, says a Kathimerini report.
The workers are on rolling 48-hour strikes protesting the privatization of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP). Foreign cruise ships are canceling their docking to Piraeus because of the absence of services. As a result, cruise activity at the port has been reduced to zero in the past few days, causing losses in revenue.
After the cancellation of visits by cruise ships such as Seabourn Odyssey of Carnival Cruises and Mein Schiff 2 of TUI Cruises, Celebrity Constellation, which was to stop at Piraeus on the weekend informed that it will sail to Turkey and on its return, if conditions allow, will dock at Piraeus Port. The Celebrity Constellation carries 2,200 passengers and intended to replenish supplies in Piraeus. However, the absence of dock workers forced the cruise ship to seek restocking supplies in Turkey.
Beyond the obvious blow to the credibility of the port of Piraeus in international markets, the report says, the situation affects major suppliers and small businesses that expect revenue from the visit of thousands of tourists disembarking the cruise ships. All this at a time when overall geopolitical tensions in the eastern Mediterranean created expectations that the recent terrorist attacks in Turkey would make more tourists and cruise agencies choose Greece.
According to the report, the passenger traffic of cruise ships in Greece during 2015 was steady compared with 2014, but significantly lower than that of 2013. In particular, last year the number of cruise ship arrivals at Greek ports totaled 4,281 ships and the number of passenger arrivals (excluding departures) was 4.957 million. In 2013, passenger arrivals reached 5.66 million. In Piraeus, passenger arrivals in 2015 fell to 980,149, from 1.056 million in 2014 and 1.3 million in 2013.

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