The Port of Heraklion is conveniently located in the heart of the East Mediterranean. It is at the crossroads of historic sea routes that once served as conveyors of trade, knowledge and culture linking some the world's earliest sophisticated civilizations. Minoan, Phoenician, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and later, Venetian, Genoese and Ottoman ships plied these waters through the millennia and called at the same destinations that now attract millions of tourists and cruise passengers.
Heraklion remains timelessly strategic to all shipping activities in the East Mediterranean, while its modern port opens up one of this region's most fascinating island destinations. Being right along the way of all classic cruise routes to the Aegean or due east towards the Holy Lands, it is an ideal call option for itinerary designers.
In the last few years Heraklion Port Authority S.A. has made significant progress towards modernizing and improving its cruise related infrastructure, systems and terminal facilities, as well as in training its staff to meet the "cruise challenge" successfully. This has enabled the Heraklion to offer, as a cruise port, excellent and highly competitive services to both ships and their passengers. Also, with the close cooperation between the Port Authority and the nearby International Airport, Heraklion is now a promising new cruise turnaround option with an already satisfactory track record.
Furthermore, with Crete's excellent tourism infrastructure, superb premium resort hotels and the impending construction of a new international airport, the Port of Heraklion is building up a promising future potential as an attractive regional homeporting option.
Following an extensive development plan, along with the necessary operational and safety aspects of contemporary port services, Heraklion Port Authority S.A. has also placed considerable weight on passenger comfort and satisfaction. Thus, together with the adoption of modern systems and the operational upgrade of the passenger terminal facility, the Port is also developing a far reaching Customer Experience Enhancement Program. The latter is now in the process of unfolding, with many special services and creative touches already in place, designed to upgrade the quality of the port's relationship with visiting cruise passengers. Along these lines, the Port Authority has also made available a helpful and informative smart phone (iOS & Android) application to familiarize cruise passengers with both historic and contemporary aspects of the City of Heraklion.
Undoubtedly, meeting the "cruise challenge" successfully as a destination depends very much on well founded local synergies. Many of the Port's initiatives could not have been achieved without a close cooperation with the City of Heraklion. The shared enthusiasm and vision between their two authorities was instrumental in introducing a new spirit of cruise friendliness that extends throughout the city and its services.