Efe Hatay, director general of Port Akdeniz Antalya, said that a new project was launched in an effort to make Antalya a brand in cruise tourism, in an interview with A.A.
Hatay said Port Akdeniz Antalya recently signed an agreement with Europe's leading cruise line AIDA in order to conduct trips between Antalya port and various European cities starting from 2010.
AIDA determined Antalya as a "hop-on & hop-off" port, Hatay said. "A cruiser with a capacity of 2,400 passengers will conduct 30 trips to Antalya port every season. Every Friday, 2,000 passengers will go aboard the ship, while another 2,000 will leave with the cruiser. This will make 120,000 passengers a year."
Hatay said that such a project would contribute remarkably to Turkey's economy as mainly wealthy European tourists traveled on cruise liners.
He also said that Europe's biggest cruiser "Poesea", which belongs to the cruise line MCS, would arrive at Antalya port on a "trial run" on Nov. 20.
"Antalya has a certain potential in cruise tourism. Some 40-45 cruisers visit the port every year. Our goal is to increase this figure to 100," Hatay said.