Eastern Med and Black Sea Begin Comeback


Among the trends at this year’s MedCruise General Assembly held in Kusadasi Turkey: The Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea are on the comeback trail.

“From zero cruise calls last year, we have 11 in 2019,” said Igor Panchenko, head of port infrastructure and external relations service in Odessa, Ukraine.

In addition, a brand new port is set to open in Istanbul in 2020.

When the port of Galataport (Istanbul) is completed, three large ships will be able to dock at the same time and can host an average of 15,000 cruise passengers per day.

The target is eventually 1.5 million per year.

In 2020, Silversea will have six calls in Black Sea ports. Viking Cruises is planning to overnight in Istanbul. And TUI Cruises is planning more future calls in Turkey, especially in Kusadasi.

Celestyal Cruises never left the destination, and is now extending the season, operating a three continents cruise later this year that will add ports in Egypt and Israel, said Captain Vassilios Gazikas, director of marine operations.

 “The Eastern Mediterranean brings something different than the Western Mediterranean in terms of culture, history …. that makes it interesting,” said ladimir Karadzhov, from the Port of Burgas, which has a call booked from Crystal Cruises for 2021.

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