Greece’s coastal shipping sector – excluding cruise ships – still ranks as one of the largest in Europe, as 17 percent of all passengers transported by sea in the Union are aboard Greek-flagged vessels, according to a report compiled by the Athens-based Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE).
Greece also has the most ports from which coastal shipping routes are conducted (145), whereas the port of Piraeus ranks first in terms of passenger traffic in the EU – 7.9 million in 2015, the last year for which specific figures are available.
On its part, the association representing coastal shippers in the EU announced that roughly 215 million passengers were transported by various types of vessels in 2015 throughout Europe, of which 32 million (15 percent) were in Greece and 35 million (16 percent) in Italy.
Of the 100 Greek isles connected with a ferry boat route, only 27 also host an airport.
Specifically for 2016, 31.6 million passengers, 8.3 million cars and 1.3 million trucks were transported by ferry boats to various Greek islands from the mainland and back, as well as across straits.