Their ship has come in, financially speaking, for one of the Greek Island ports.
Royal Caribbean announced today that the port of Heraklion, Greece was chosen to be the recipient of port infrastructure improvements which will also include a hotel and conference center. Considering the financial crisis which continues to plague Greece, this investment could not have come at a better time. At the end of September, the two-year interest rate in Greece rose to more than 70%. Heraklion is the capital of Crete, the largest of all the Greek islands, dating back to 2700 BCE.
Royal Caribbean had narrowed the selection to six popular Greek ports of call: Heraklion, Kos, Mykonos, Piraeus, Rhodes and Thessaloniki. The initial plan was to create a cruise hub which in turn would bring thousands of cruise passengers to the new port. No word yet on whether the construction of the port will take on a historic and cultural rendition as has happened with Royal Caribbean’s $250 million investment in Falmouth, Jamaica.
In addition to the 4-star hotel and conference center, there would be a shopping mall of more than 33,000 square feet and a marina to accommodate 120 yachts.
The port of Heraklion suggests that it could accommodate two large, 2,500 passenger cruise ships daily for at least 220 days a year.
Royal Caribbean isn’t the only entity with an interest in Heraklion. Israel is also moving forward to invest there. And with good reason: according to Royal Caribbean’s five-year plan, they estimate that more than 800,000 cruise guests would visit Heraklion per year. The estimated annual revenue? Somewhere near $5 million USD.
Photo credit: MyVillasInCrete.com, Heraklion-Crete.gr