Cruise ship arrivals at 2019 levels but with fewer passengers
CORFU. Corfu Port Authority Cruise Director: This year΄s numbers are very good, given that the cruises started tentatively.
The numbers in the cruise sector in Corfu are optimistic. This year, when cruises basically restarted following two years of pandemic, is going very well, while arrivals up to September are almost at 2019 levels (3% lower). From March to September, 316 cruise ships arrived at Corfu port, i.e. nine less than in 2019.
The Corfu Port Authority Cruise Director Aris Batsoulis told Enimerosi that 2022 is expected to end with 405 cruise ship arrivals, when in 2019, which was the best year, they were 420. The last cruise ship for this year is expected to arrive on December 1, while planning for the new year has already begun.
"Expectations for 2023 are optimistic. We have proceeded with the planning based on the arrivals we have had in the past, but we need an update due to changes. We will have accurate data next week as the arrivals from tour operators will be finalised," he said.
Number of passengers
Cruises in Corfu started early with the first cruise ship arriving on 12 March. However, the number of passengers was not high from the start.
"We started with a low occupancy rate (30%-40%), but month by month it has improved and now it is more than 80%, while we have cruise ships that are almost full with 90% occupancy," said Mr. Batsoulis.
That means there were 423,000 passengers up to last month. This number includes both passengers from daily arrivals and those of the home port. However, compared to the same period in 2019, there has been a decrease as there were 585,000 passengers then. However, as Mr. Batsoulis clarified, compared to 2019, this year's numbers are very good, given that the cruises started tentatively.
As far as Corfu Port Authority's planning for its development is concerned, procedures have already started. They concern three passenger terminals, two in Corfu Port and one in Lefkimmi Port. In Corfu, one is a cruise ship terminal and the other is for non-Schengen countries, so that it will be more convenient for the passengers. "We are waiting for the selection of the contractors, who will carry out the studies for the three terminals", concluded Mr. Batsoulis.