The resort city in Turkey’s Aegean, Kusadasi, is expected to record its greatest number of cruise ships docking in its port next year, after having been majorly disrupted by COVID-19.
Ege Port in Kusadasi
The city that serves Ege Port is already known as the area that plays host to the largest number of cruisers every year, and recently it was able to welcome the first cruise ship after a 16-month lockdown that brought travel to a standstill.
Kusadasi is one of the main tourist attractions situated within the western Turkish province of Aydin, and the town was thrilled to welcome the cruise ship Blue Sapphire, which docked with 450 passengers that were mainly Russian tourists.
Impact of the Pandemic
The Regional Director of Global Ports Holding Eastern Mediterranean and General Manager of Kusadasi Ege Port recently spoke about how the pandemic had impacted the industry, saying: “Currently, 65 cruise companies are in operation around the world, and 200 ships are expected to be in service by the end of September. This is about 30% of the world’s capacity.”
Daily infection rates dropping, and the acceleration of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign could be the reason for the major change in demand and bring a recovery next year, explaining that this could be the “best year ever in cruise tourism.”
Referring to the number of bookings in Kusadasi for next year, the region is expecting 650 ships with 750,000 passengers on board. Therefore: “the highest passenger figures in the history of Kusadasi could be achieved.”
The chief at Ege Port explained that the biggest obstacle now is Greece, as they are currently keeping the sea border gates. If restrictions were lifted, more ships would be able to come to Turkey. He went on to confirm that: “Currently, when we look at 2022 bookings, we see a very serious demand for Turkey. If all goes well, this may even be Turkey’s best year in cruise tourism. Our hopes and expectations for 2022 are quite high.”
Galataport in Istanbul
Galataport is expecting the first ship anchor to arrive at their shores imminently, and this will then open a new era for the tourism industry. Galataport is hailed to be one of the industry’s top cruise destinations. Located in the Karakoy district of Istanbul, this mammoth project will offer the potential of welcoming 25 million visitors, 7 million tourists and 1.5 million cruise passengers.