“Greece moved faster than other countries, creating a safe operating environment for cruises,” Minister of Shipping and Island Policy Giannis Plakiotakis said, during his address at a Celestial Cruises event on the occasion of the launch of its cruise line.

He also announced that in the context of the overall upgrade of the port of Lavrio, the creation of seven new floating piers, which can accommodate more than 200 pleasure boats, will be approved very soon. At a time when works are being carried out on the coastal front of Attica, the new piers will provide a solution to the problem of hosting yachts, at the same time upgrading the port of Lavrio, the Minister stressed.

Regarding cruises, Mr. Plakiotakis said that the health protocols were revised, based on the experience of 2020 and the evolution of the health data, after cooperation with the competent Ministries, the expert scientists, but also the cruise institutions.

Our ports, he continued, have special operational plans prepared for dealing with Covid cases, while their categorization into starting ports, ports of intermediate call and ports of refuge has been completed, for those ships that might face a problem. The inhabitants of our islands are being vaccinated at a very fast pace, thanks to the “Blue Freedom” program, which creates a shield of protection not only for the islanders themselves, but also for cruise visitors. At the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, we have designed and implemented in a timely manner a safe framework for the protection of passengers and crews and we are ready to welcome the approximately 40 cruise ships that will operate in the Greek seas this summer. Cruises are overcoming the pandemic and restarting, from Lavrio, with many and important benefits for tourism, economy, and local communities, the Minister concluded.