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A bright future in global cruising


In an era when the global cruise industry is developing, Greece stands at the helm, ready to steer to a future filled with growth and innovation. The resilience and dynamism of the cruise sector are evident, with the industry set to welcome more than 36 million passengers by 2026, making it one of the healthiest travel sectors. With its 49 destinations, Greece is becomes a cornerstone of this vibrant future.

The Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) is at the forefront of this journey, with a mission to establish Greece as a premier and continuously evolving cruise destination. The GNTO aims to leverage Greece’s array of islands, endless coastlines, and terrestrial diversity. This strategy is designed to create connections between visitors and the country’s cultural, historical, and natural tapestry.

This versatility caters to all types of cruisers, from families exploring the Aegean’s gems in Crete, Rhodes, or Mykonos to luxury travellers indulging in the splendour of the smaller destinations like Paros, Syros, Lesvos, and Agios Nikolaos.

Every destination, from the iconic whitewashed houses of the Aegean islands to the majestic historical sites and superb gastronomy, shares a unique narrative, inviting travellers to embark on extraordinary journeys beyond the ordinary.

The industry’s commitment to growth and sustainability is evidenced by the expansion of its fleet, with the introduction of 11 new cruise ships in 2024, another 16 in 2025, and more in the following years.

This expansion reflects a substantial investment in the future of cruising and underscores the industry’s dedication to environmental stewardship and innovation on a global scale.

Sustainability and social responsibility are pivotal to the global cruise industry, which is collectively aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050 to reduce environmental impact and foster sustainable travel practices worldwide.

This commitment reflects a broad-based effort to promote responsible and sustainable travel, ensuring that the cruise industry at large contributes positively to the ecological and cultural preservation of destinations it touches.

The upcoming expansion of the global cruise fleet will open new opportunities for exploration and enjoyment within Greece’s captivating landscapes and seas, enhancing the array of experiences available to visitors.

A vision for the future

2023 was a landmark year for Greek cruising, with 5,230 cruise calls and over 7 million passengers welcomed, surpassing previous records and signalling robust development.

The increase in passengers, up 14.4% from the record year 2011, showcases the country’s capacity and the homeport capabilities from Piraeus, Corfu, Thessaloniki, Lavrion, Heraklion, and Rhodes.

The path forward

Santorini As Greece charts its course towards a pioneering future in cruise tourism, it stands as a testament to the possibilities of sustainable growth, diversity of experience, and the immersive engagement of travellers with the destinations they visit.

By prioritising environmental conservation, embracing new opportunities in cruising, and focusing on the holistic well-being of each visitor, Greece is not just a destination but a journey towards a future where tourism and environmental stewardship exist in harmony.

By fostering collaborations between ports, government bodies, local communities, and cruise lines, Greece aims to take this tourism sector to the next level of development. Overall, the journey ahead for Greece in the cruise industry is filled with promise and lots of philoxenia.

This article is shared by courtesy of Greek National Tourism Organisation

For more articles about Greece, click here.



Narjiss Ghajour

Editor-in-Chief of Maritime Professionals
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