Nautical Tourism

Nautical tourism

The development of infrastructure to support nautical tourism is one of the greatest challenges of Greece over the next years. More specifically, the Greek state has announced significant investments:
• in the upgrading of cruise port facilities so that more cruise companies will use Greek ports as home ports for their Mediterranean cruises
• in the privatization and upgrading of the state and municipality owned marinas, in order to attract more and larger yachts

Several international investors have already taken advantage of such opportunities, recognizing the great opportunity in this high-value tourist product.

Greece is experiencing a boom in cruise numbers and visitors, following the recent regulatory changes that the country implemented in order to lift cabotage rules in marine cruises. This decision has liberalized the cruise market as it allowed non-EU cruise ships to embark from Greek ports, and combined with the infrastructure improvements currently planned in major Greek ports is expected to significantly improve the number of cruises using Greece either as a home port or as a destination.

The main competitive advantages of the country include a great coastline, the big number of available ports –most of them close to world known attractions-, the small distances between destinations and the country’s location - in the center of a highly touristic area in Eastern Mediterranean Sea. 

Key Figures

Piraeus port’s cruise passenger increase between 2002 and 2014


Cruise passenger traffic in 2014

2.2 mn

Target cruise passengers in next 2-3 years

4 million

Forecast revenue for cruise sector in 2016 (€)

1 billion

Market share of Greece among EU cruise travelers



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