ECONOMY

Louis Cruise Lines chooses Piraeus as base for new routes from March 2005

Louis Cruise Lines (LCL) will offer cruises in Greece through a new subsidiary company. The cruise ships Kalypso and Ithaki will operate three-, four- and seven-day cruises departing from Piraeus and starting from March 2005. Giorgos Stathopoulos, general manager of the new company, says this move follows LCL’s strategy to expand into new markets with potential: «Our decision to become active in Greece shows the company’s confidence in the future of Greek cruising and particularly the potential of Piraeus to become a major cruise hub internationally.» However LCL, which owns and operates 10 cruise ships, feels the port still needs to upgrade its infrastructure and services, as it has not yet followed the explosive growth of other Mediterranean ports in the sector. An industry source told Kathimerini: «If LCL’s venture pays off financially, it will attract greater international cruise companies to Greece, as the country enjoyed considerable positive exposure during the Olympic Games and several major travel organizations are considering Greece as a possible destination for their holiday packages.»