Greece will become the first country to reopen to large cruise ship traffic when it again opens up at six ports starting on August 1, Greece Minister of Tourism Haris Theocharis said in a letter to CLIA Europe this week.
Greece will begin welcoming cruise ships again at Piraeus, Rhodes, Heraklion, Volos, Corfu, and Katakolo starting next month. After a cruise ship initially first docks at one of those six ports, it will be able to then reach other Greece ports, Theocharis said.
“All cruise ships are welcome in Greece to offer a unique experience to all their passengers,” Theocharis said in his letter to CLIA. “Greece is the first country to respond to the cruise industry and introduces health protocols, especially for the type of tourism.”
Theocharis’ letter was also sent to the three largest cruise lines operating in Greece—MSC Cruises, Costa, and TUI Cruises.
While plans could change if “there are new epidemiological conditions,” the announcement is good news for the cruise industry, which is still in a holding pattern in the U.S. until at least the end of September, after the CDC’s announcement (NCLH on Wednesday announced that it would not be operating until at least after Oct. 31).
Greece began welcoming international tourists back in June.