The Heraklion Port Authority, as part of the strategic actions it implements for the cruise business development, organized a familiarization trip for selected cruise cruise line executives by the end of September 2022 (fam trip).
The fam trip which was focused both at the cruise port updates and cruise destination enrichment, organized by OLI from September 19 to 22, 2022 and was completed with great  success, where senior cruise line executives from the luxury segment participated.
For the first time, the cruise line executives gathered to jointly explore the possibility of expanding their planned cruise calls but also to live and to know first-hand the hospitality, the quality of services as well as the social and human values ​​in the island of Crete.
The familiarization trip was intended to promote Heraklion and Crete as one of the major  cultural, historical, archaeological and gastronomic cruise destinations in Mediterranean, in order to increase the cruise guests traffic to our island and not only.  The participants of the fam trip  were from the Azamara Cruises (Ms. Joni Lundsford), from SilverSea Cruises (Ms. Natasha Tramutola) and from  Holland America Group and Carnival Corp.  (Mr. Michele Bosco), representing together 10 cruise brands.
During fam trip, the cruise executives held meetings with the management of OLI, where the CEO, Mr. Minas Papadakis, with a detailed presentation, referred to the main pillars of Heraklion Port development, the future goals and programs/initiatives that OLI is already adopting and participating for the green transition and  the energy model transformation.
The cruise line executives also had meetings with the local and regional authority officials as well as with the Directors and Supervisors of the Heraklion Port Authority, in order to get relevant information about all the cruise destination possibilities for the luxury segment cruise guests.
For this reason, full-day tours were organized with the aim of highlighting the main points of interest and the off the beaten path undiscovered treasures of Crete.  All the suggested excursions were escorted by professional guides, special routes of historical and archaeological interest were presented that highlighted the most important sites and attractions and the incredible mosaic that describes the unique profile of the Cretan landscape.  There were special presentations and reports on the possibilities offered by our island for the cruise destination development, asuch as the biomatic and authentic experiences, the culinary and gastronomy wealth of Cretan cuisine.
The Managing Director of OLI, Mr. Minas Papadakis, noted that the cruise line executives clearly expressed their pleasure to be part of the fam trip as well as their satisfaction for the possibilities offered by our cruise destination,  they announced their intention to include new excursions in their future calls, which justifies the effort of OLI to contribute to the cruise development of Crete island.
The Heraklion Port Authority would like to thank the consulting company ICCS Corp and personally Mr. Chris Nicolaides, for the cooperation in the
implementation of the familiarization trip.