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Piraeus upgrades to ease homeporting

Piraeus upgrades to ease homeporting
Piraeus Port Authority has upgraded its Passenger Terminal Themistocles in order to cater for increasing homeport traffic, including five by Carnival Vista this summer.

The enhancements include a new passenger waiting area with 1,000 seats and air conditioning and 60 check in desks, the conversion of the first floor of the departure hall as a waiting room and security control for ship's crew and addition of additional areas for X-ray screening for passengers, suitcases and hand luggage.

Greece's cruise fraternity turned out in force to welcome Carnival Cruise Line's new ship Carnival Vista when it called in Piraeus earlier this week during its 13-day maiden voyage, underlining the importance of cruising to Piraeus and Greek tourism.

Management and executives from PPA headed by the gm Stavros Hatzakos, welcomed the ship's captain Rocco Lubrano and showered him and the ship with gifts, including books for the ship's onboard library.

The formal ceremony was attended by secretary general of the shipping ministry, Christos Lampridis, representatives of customs, Union of Cruise Shipowners & Associate Members(EEKFN), and maritime agencies and others, while Carnival Corp was represented by Michel Nestour.

Ioannis Kouvaris, chairman and ceo of the PPA, said: 'Carnival Vista marks a new era of homeporting development in Piraeus. The PPA can serve any cruise ship iin accordance with international quality standards ISO 9001: 2008 and environmental ISO 14001: 2004 and is emerging as the most secure and attractive destination in the Eastern Mediterranean.'

Theodore Kontes, president of EEKFN said though 'we have had to encounter certain issues this year, particularly that of immigrants from Eastern Mediterranean countries, we have managed to maintain high standards of safety and security, resulting in a considerable annual increase in sea tourism.'

Strong supporter of the Greek cruise industry, Costakis Loizou president of Celestyal Cruises, was also on hand, and Kontes took the opportunity to thank him for his continued support.