Costa Pacifica, one of the world’s biggest cruise ships, towers above structures at the port of Thessaloniki upon its arrival at Greece’s second city on Monday.
It seemed as though an entire town had disembarked when the 3,800 passengers entered the cruise terminal.
They were received by the local trade association, which had organized a special event, with its members distributing maps, leaflets on the city’s history and sites, discount cards and sweet treats to tourists.
Dozens of coaches were waiting to take visitors to the Macedonian capital’s sites as well as to nearby destinations such as Vergina and Kavala.
]This marks a major change from events five years ago, when Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas cruise ship docked in Thessaloniki but most of its 3,500 passengers refused to disembark due to the huge bureaucracy local port authorities employed at the time, leading the ship to take Thessaloniki off its destination chart.