Greece welcomed its first cruise ship for 2021, the 1,000 passenger 'Mein Schiff 5', marking a step forward in the country's tourism recovery.
The ship operated by TUI Cruises, arrived at the port of Piraeus on Tuesday.
The Piraeus Port Authority has provided three halls in the cruis eship terminal for use by the health authorities, as part of the continuing precautions for the coronavirus pandemic.
Greece reopened to tourism on May 15. All travellers to the country will have to fill in a passenger locator form (PLF) detailing where they will be staying and for how long and will also have to present a certificate of vaccination against Covid-19 or a recent negative PCR test or an official document certifying recent recovery from the virus.
Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said that a system will be set up for Covid tests to be carried out at regular intervals at popular tourist destinations, while the government will also be leasing hotels to act as quarantine stations in the event of outbreaks.
Nearly 450 ships are expected to arrive at Piraeus during the summer season. Of these, 250 will be using Piraeus as their home port.
Moreover, Corfu also welcomed its first cruise ship for 2021 on Tuesday.
Corfu port authorities said some 600 tourists from countries including Italy, France and Germany were on board the 'Costa Luminosa', operated by Italy's Costa Cruises.
"It's freedom, enjoying life, you really feel much better. You're not in prison anymore, you're free and that really does you good," said French passenger Robert Maran.
"At last we're coming back on track to freedom and work... Safety and hygiene measures are being respected both by us and by our clients," tour guide Wafaa Spirou added.