Greece considers cap on cruise visitors to iconic islands, including Santorini and Mykonos

Greece to cap cruise ships in Santorini Mykonos
By Linsey McNeill
17/06/2024
Home » Greece considers cap on cruise visitors to iconic islands, including Santorini and Mykonos

Greece is considering a cap on cruise ships visiting some of its most popular islands due to fears of overcrowding.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told news publication Bloomberg that restrictions could be introduced as early as next year.

He said any cap would be applied to Santorini first, followed by Mykonos.

According to Bloomberg, 800 ships carrying 1.3 million passengers dropped anchor at Santorini last year, 17% more than in 2022.

Visitors are taken by tender from the ships to Athinios, or to Fira, from where they must take a cable car up to the town, sometimes leading to long queues in the tiny old port.

In Mykonos, there were 749 cruise ship visits in 2023, said Bloomberg, up 23% year-on-year.

Mr Mitsotakis told Bloomberg that a cap might involve restricting the number of berths on the islands or establishing a bidding process for cruise lines to gain slots. “I think we’ll do it next year,” he said. “Santorini is the most sensitive,” Mr Mitsotakis told Bloomberg. “Mykonos will be second.”

The Greek PM’s comments follow Princess Cruises’ decision to drop Santorini from some of its Sun Princess voyages this summer due to potential ‘congestion’.

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