In 2017, Greece experienced a large drop in cruise ship arrivals and passenger visits compared to 2016, according to data released by the Hellenic Ports Union “ELIME”.
Cruise ship arrivals decreased by around 20.5% in 2017 (from 4,307 in 2016 to 3,415 in 2017), and cruise passenger visits fell by approximately 11% (from 5,204,231 in 2016 to 4,625,363) in the same year.
ELIME blames the drop in visits on political instability and geopolitical developments in surrounding destinations of the eastern Mediterranean region.
It cites tourism officials who claim the overall climate of instability sharply reduced cruise ship traffic at ports in these countries.
According to the data, the top 10 Greek destinations remain the same as in all previous years.
The port of Piraeus recorded 576 cruise ship arrivals with 1,055,559 passenger visits, compared to 625 arrivals of cruise ships and 1,094,135 passenger visits in 2016.
The port of Mykonos welcomed 501 cruise ship arrivals in 2017 with 699,304 passenger visits, compared to 596 arrivals and 722,517 passenger visits in 2016.
The port of Corfu island, 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.
And finally, Katakolo ranked fifth on the list of top 10 Greek cruise destinations in 2017, followed by Rhodes, Heraklion, Chania, Patmos and Kefalonia/Ithaki.