With a successful year behind them, the award-winning Celestyal Cruises focuses on further growth in 2017, despite challenges in the cruise industry

Celestyal Cruises, while focusing on the international markets and on new destinations, continues to maintain a dynamic presence in the Greek cruise industry and retains a high number of its passengers, despite the difficulties of last year, according to Mr Kyriakos Anastasiadis, CEO of Celestyal Cruises and newly elected President of CLIA Europe. Mr Anastasiadis was presenting the company’s ongoing developments, goals and vision for a stronger international presence, and shared his own insight on the future of European cruising and the difficulties that the industry is expected to face in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Making reference to the crisis resistance that international markets, and especially the Greek market, demonstrated this year, Mr Pythagoras Nagos, Vice President Sales of Celestyal Cruises, told Essential Journeys there was a 48 per cent increase of Greek passengers, an increase of Turkish passengers by 20 per cent, as well as individual tourists from the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, the number of Greek port approaches increased to 821 visits in total, offering a significant contribution to the local communities, especially on the islands of Samos and Kos that have experienced a significant decrease in tourist arrivals. In 2016, Celestyal Cruises hosted 117,000 passengers and made 660,000 total visits to various Greek destinations. Celestyal Cruises is also into fourth year of operating in Cuba, where there is an expected 63 per cent increase of groups and 39,000 total number of passengers.

Mr Nagos also reaffirmed the company’s commitment to continuous improvement and upgrading of its services, and confirmed additional investments in the coming year, such as in the reservation system. These efforts were recently recognised by the international cruise community, when Celestyal Cruises won the ‘Best Value for Money Cruise Line 2016’ award from Cruise Critic UK.

In 2015, the company launched an educational programme entitled Destinations of Knowledge, with the aim of sharing knowledge and broadening the horizons of local schoolchildren. To date, more than 1,200 students on the islands of Milos, Ios and Patmos have benefited from the programme.