Santorini Sets To Ban Cruise Tourists Next Year

March 1, 2016

The well-loved island of Santorini has long been a hit with cruise tourists, but its popularity seems to have led to its downfall.

The port has proved so popular that the island’s authorities have been forced to impose a capacity cap on the number of visitors.

There will now be a maximum of 8,000 passengers allowed to visit from cruise ships each day.

Last year, Santorini was the most popular Greek destination to be visited by cruise ships, with some 636 ships docking there. This led to a staggering 790,000 cruise passengers visiting the island in 2015.

A recent study by the Municipal Port Fund found that this influx of visitors was causing social and environmental problems including traffic issues and overcrowding.

The peak season (which is May to October) saw an average of 3.6 cruise ships docking on the island. This led to as many as 10,000 people visiting in a single day.

To achieve a lower number of passengers that the island will be able to deal with, restrictions will be put in place to stop too many ships or high numbers of passengers visiting. The island hopes that they will be able to more adequately receive passengers with efficiency and quality with these lower passenger numbers.

The President of the Port Fund Ilias Pelekis said that the system will be more flexible this year seeing as cruise lines have drafted docking schedules many months in advance.

It has been suggested that in 2017 the schedule would be stricter. This would likely mean less cruise ships being able to visit the island and a change in regular itineraries.

What do you think of the news? Have you ever visited Santorini before? Would you be upset if you were unable to visit it due to overcrowding?

Let us know in the comments below.