Cruise benefit delay

By Nikos Bardounias

The delay in the vote on the law for lifting restrictions on cruise schedules means Greece will miss out on not one but two years of the industry?s benefits as 2012 and 2013 itineraries have already been drawn up.

Major cruise firms will not start performing circular cruises around Greece with local ports for their home porting, according to members of the Greek Association of Cruise Shipowners and Shipping Bodies.

Experts say that once the benefits of the open cruise market are fully tapped, Greece can expect revenues of 1 billion euros per year, as well as 18,000 new jobs, according to a Hellenic Chamber of Shipping study.

Global players such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Costa, Celebrity and MSC are also interested in investing in port infrastructure.