Santorini & Mykonos Most Urgent for Potential Cruise Ship Cap

Chairs and tables outside a restaurant in a Greek harbor
Updated Published

Bloomberg reports that the Greek government is contemplating a cap on cruise ship visits to certain destinations. Citing Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the news outlet noted that the country’s most popular islands might soon face restrictions to address the “effects of over-tourism in the post-pandemic period.”

Mitsotakis identified Santorini as the most vulnerable destination, with Mykonos also being a significant concern for the government.

He indicated that the new regulations are still under consideration and could be implemented as early as 2025.

One potential measure to ease the growing pressure on these destinations is to limit the availability of berths and anchoring slots. Cruise lines would then need to engage in new bidding processes or auctions to secure these slots for their ships.

Celestyal Cruises’ CEO, Chris Theophilides, praised the Greek authority’s stance in a LinkedIn post, stating that it “is to be applauded.”

“We fully support this desire for responsible tourism. We are united in a collective approach, both with our stakeholders and fellow cruise line operators, to introduce greater measures that ensure beautiful locations in Greece – and indeed across the world – are enjoyed by all,” he wrote.

He continued, “As a local cruise line that operates smaller ships, we have a particular interest in responsible tourism for our homeland and the enjoyment of our guests. Increasing measures such as enhanced berth request systems and scheduled visit times to popular landmarks, such as The Acropolis, will ensure tourists can enjoy marquee destinations responsibly, with fewer crowds and less pressure on the local communities.”

Celestyal Cruises, which offers various itineraries to the Greek Islands, currently operates the 1,270-guest Celestyal Discovery and the 1,258-guest Celestyal Journey.

In 2024, the largest cruise ships regularly visiting Mykonos and Santorini will include Norwegian Cruise Line’s 4,200-guest Norwegian Epic and Royal Caribbean International’s 4,200-guest Odyssey of the Seas.