ECONOMY

Cruise giants eye local port infrastructure

Representatives of major international cruise companies have expressed interest in participating in the construction of infrastructure projects at a number of Greek ports, provided that the cruise market in Greece is fully liberalized.

Cruise giants such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Costa, MSC and Celebrity have said they are interested not just in Piraeus, Greece?s biggest port, but also in investing in infrastructure works at other ports to raise the standard of services on offer.

Sources suggest that Royal Caribbean is interested in the ports of Thessaloniki, Rhodes and Iraklio, in addition to Piraeus. The Cretan capital holds particular appeal for the company, as it is considering investing in its infrastructure in order to use it as a home port for cruises to Africa, Turkey and the Greek islands.

MSC has signaled that if the cruise sector is fully opened up and security provisions for tourists are improved, it intends to start circular cruises from Piraeus and participate in projects to improve Greece?s main port.