First cruise liner docks

MSC Magnifica became on Tuesday the first of some 800 cruise ships expected to dock at the port of Piraeus in 2012, and was greeted by Development and Merchant Marine Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis.

“This is an important and symbolic move we are making as last year the cruise industry in this country posted growth of 35 percent with some 2.5 million passengers visiting Greece,» said Chrysochoidis, who pledged to help make the country more attractive to cruise passengers so as to achieve the best possible financial benefits.

The minister added that the bill for the liberalization of the sector is to be tabled in Parliament today, «allowing all ships, regardless of whether they bear a European Union flag or one from a third country, to visit Greece,» he said.