The Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) is planning to invest some 294 million euros in the next five years to upgrade its existing infrastructure, thus increase its competitiveness in the Eastern Mediterranean cruise industry. Details of the plans were presented during the opening day of the 4th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum by Theodora Riga, Manager of Strategic Planning and Marketing Department of PPA.
A significant part of the investment will support Greece’s cruise sector as it will include the expansion of the Southern port with a capacity of four new cruise berths, up to 400 m each for new generation ships. Plans also include the development of hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and other auxiliary services designed to establish Piraeus Port as a key East Mediterranean cruise line homeport.
“The planned infrastructure improvements will benefit the cruise sector overall by providing best-in-class customer service experience to the operators of the cruise ships as well as by enhancing the overall experience of their guests,” Riga said.
“New value added services for the cruise lines and passengers are at the core of Piraeus Port Authority’s vision to promote overall product awareness in the Chinese market and act as a facilitator to capture higher volumes of tourists from the Far East.”
Currently, Piraeus possesses a total of 2.8kms in quay length with a draft of up to 11 m tide free. It has between 9-11 simultaneous berthing places. The expansion plans would add a further 1,65 kms of quay length further strengthening the Port’s capacity by roughly 50 percent.
The 4th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum was held on May 23-24 at the Megaron – Athens Concert Hall under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy with the support of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports (MEDCRUISE), the Hellenic Port Association (ELIME), the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association, the Greek Marinas Association, the Association of Passenger Shipping Companies, the Union of Cruise Ship Owners & Associated Members and the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA).