Visitor arrivals at Heraklion airport and port bode well
New arrivals were recorded on Friday at Heraklion airport “Nikos Kazantzakis” airport on the official opening day of tourism with the first flight from Hannover carrying 183 passengers. A total of 15 flights were scheduled in total during the day with visitors coming from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France and Belgium.
500 charter flights by the end of the month
500 charter flights almost full of tourists will land at Heraklion Airport by the end of the month, said Giorgos Pliakas who called it a good start for tourism.
The Germans love Greece, with bookings increasing for Crete, the head of TUI in Greece, who paid a visit to the regional governor of Crete, told the TV lens exclusively. The encouraging news for Cretan tourism was reported by Michalis Pediadiktakis, General Manager of Robinson in Greece, Turkey, Italy and Cyprus.
The cruise in Heraklion started dynamically from the first day of the opening of tourism, as the cruise ship “Main Siff 5” departed at 9 am with 950 passengers.
Start of the cruise for the tourist season
At the same time, TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 5 cruise ship officially launched on Friday 14 May from Heraklion, seven-day cruises to the Greek islands until the end of the 2021 season.
According to the Heraklion Port Authority:
On the first itinerary, the ports of call will be Rhodes, Piraeus and Souda in Crete, while the ship will sail to Adamas Bay/Milos and the Caldera of Santorini during the cruise, in order for passengers to admire from the ship’s decks these two Greek islands of unique natural beauty.
TUi Cruises’ vote of confidence in the Heraklion Port Authority last year, following the highly successful cooperation between the two organisations during the difficult autumn of 2020 due to the pandemic, is repeated this year, sealing the long-term strategic cooperation between the two organisations, with the re-selection of Heraklion Crete as TUI Cruises’ homeport in the Eastern Mediterranean for 2021.
On Thursday, 13 May 2021, in a festive ceremony at Mein Schiff 5, in which all revised health and safety protocols were observed to the fullest extent, with a strictly limited circle of official guests, the relaunch of Greek tourism and global cruising in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean basin for the 2021 season was officially inaugurated.
The TUI Cruises ship, Mein Schiff 5, which will be homeported in Heraklion, Crete, for 7-day cruises to the Greek islands until the end of October 2021, arrived at the port of Heraklion on Tuesday 11 May 2021, in the early afternoon hours, coming from Bari, Italy, docking at pier 4-5.
The Managing Director of OLI, Mr. Minas Papadakis, stressed in his welcome speech the great importance of TUI Cruises’ decision to trust the expertise and administrative skills of the management and staff of the Heraklion Port Authority, both during last year’s start of the company’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with the pandemic in full swing, with Heraklion as the homeport (port of departure), and for this season.
The President of OLI SA Mr. Ioannis Vardavas with a cordial greeting welcomed the official guests, thanked the CEO of TUI Cruises Mrs. Wybcke Meier as well as the Greek Captain of the cruise ship Cpt.
The decision of TUI Cruises is of particular importance for the prospect of strategic development of cruising in a reasonable period of time on a 12-month basis from Heraklion, in close cooperation with the Heraklion Port Authority, which will stimulate the local economy especially during the off-season.
The approximately 1,000 German passengers, the majority of whom are Austrian and Swiss, arrived today at Heraklion International Airport “Nikolaos Kazantzakis” with flights of TUI fly, a subsidiary of TUI, and will head directly to the Passenger Terminal of the Port of Heraklion, where the contactless procedure of checking the necessary documents/certificates and boarding the ship was followed in a perfectly coordinated manner.
All passengers adhered with dedication and seriousness to the strict sanitary protocols in accordance with the current cruise regime.