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The Port of Piraeus received 1.5 million cruise passengers in 2023

More evidence that Greece’s tourism sector and wider economy are recovering after the 2020-2021 COVID Pandemic came with the announcement that the Port of Pireaus service 1.5 million cruise ship passengers in 2023.


This is a major increase over the 880,000 passengers recorded in 2022. Moreover, of the 760 cruise ships served at the Port of Pireaus in 2023, 525 were homeporting: the cruises originated in Piraeus.


This is a major benefit for Greece, since incoming and outbound cruise ship passengers will transit through Athens International Airport and will usually spend 2-3 days exploring Athens, or longer if they want to see popular destinations like the Greek islands or the Peloponnese. 

The growth of cruise ships follows years of regulatory and union protests over the rational functioning of the Port of Pireaus. The Port leased Docks 2 and 3 to China’s COSCO Shipping for 35 years in 2009. The conditions for this Concession Agreement included investments of € 293.8 million in the following assets:


  • Passenger Port Expansion (Southern Zone Phase A)

  • Repair of Pier I RMG yard area and cranes

  • Conversion of Pentagonal Warehouse into Cruise Passenger Terminal

  • Underground Linkage of Car Terminal with Former ODDY Area

  • Port Infrastructure Improvement and Maintenance

  • Supply of Equipment

  • Dredging of Central Port

  • Construction of New Oil Pier

  • Car Terminal Expansion (Herakleous)

  • Improvement Infrastructure of Ship Repair Zone


In 2014, an international tender implemented by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) also resulted in COSCO purchasing 51% of the operating company of the Port of Piraeus. This has since been increased to 67% in 2021.


The rapid growth of the Port of Pireaus as well as the Cruise Terminal is a bellweather for the wider economic performance of Greece.


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All photos are (c) Port of Pireaus SA 







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