“Last year we had very few calls, with 1,090 passengers total,” said Andreas Papapanagiotou, board member for the Port of Patras in Greece. “That’s why we attended MedCruise this year. We want to turn the trend. The new port authority took over in December and we want the cruise business to come back.

“In some destinations, the residents are against cruise calls, but all of our city wants the business,” he continued. “We are starting new relationships within the cruise industry and in the next city council meeting, we will consider an investment in supporting the business.”

Excursions range from archaeological sites to river rafting and mountain hiking.

“Passengers can get to the commercial center of the city which is a five minute walk from the ship,” Papapanagiotou noted.

The cruise terminal is 3,000 square meters and offers currency exchange, limited shopping and tourist information area.

In addition, the port is part of Europe’s Poseidon II program to implement the use of LNG as a marine fuel.

“In two to three years we expect to be able to supply LNG,” Papapanagiotou said.