The atmosphere on board the magnificent Celestyal Olympia was joyous today as Celestyal Cruises hosted a warm reception for the first group of 250 tourists from the People’s Republic of China to sail with the company. The reception and the subsequent “Iconic Aegean” cruise, a three-day cruise calling at beloved destinations such as Mykonos, Samos, Kusadasi, Heraklion and Santorini, marks the official commencement of the participation of Chinese tourists in Aegean cruising.
During the event, Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) management and the Authority’s CEO, Capt. Fu Chengqiu, awarded a plaque to Mr. Kyriacos Anastassiadis, CEO of Celestyal Cruises, to reward the company’s initiatives in bringing Chinese tourists to the Aegean and for its overall and longstanding contribution to the port – the company does 70 percent of its home-porting in Piraeus and is an annual and stable user of the seaport, the largest in Greece.
The event was attended by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, Mr. Dionisios Kalamatianos; the Deputy Mayor of Piraeus, Mr. Ioannis Mellas, the Vice President of the Greek National Tourism Organization Mrs. Angeliki Chondromatidou, and by Mr. Athanasios Liagos, member of the Board of Directors of the Piraeus Port Authority.
“We are very glad to welcome the first organized group from China after a systematic effort to promote the beauty of our country in and the incomparable experience Greek cruising provides to visitors to our country,” said Mr. Anastassiadis. “We hope our guests will enjoy the authentic Greek hospitality and warm, personalized service we offer. We want our guests from the People’s Republic of China to feel at home on board our vessels, and we have thus made sure we have Chinese guides and escorts amongst our crew and authentic Chinese cuisine on our menus. We are confident the People’s Republic of China will become one of our most important markets. We expect to host 2,000 Chinese passengers during the 2017 season. Our plan is to systematically build demand for our cruises so as to reach 50,000 passengers per year by 2021.”
“We are very grateful to Celestyal Cruises for its productive cooperation and for its trust in the port of Piraeus,” said Capt. Fu Chengqiu. “The development of Piraeus as a cruise port is very important for both the local and the national economy. This is why we are upgrading its cruise infrastructure and services, in order to best highlight the great potential of the port and the Piraeus Port Authority.”