Upd: ZENITH:To Cruise or Not to Cruise? That is here the question…


Upd: 05/06/2010 – from Malta’s online newspaper: independent.com.mt

Zenith’s home-porting in Malta only lasted one week
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The home-porting on Monday.., will sail to Piraeus tomorrow morning after receiving assurances from the Greek government that it will have no problems docking.

The Citizens’ Protection Ministry has assured the Zenith’s managers that its arrival will not be impeded by members of the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO), who have said they will prevent the vessel from docking.

———— FULL STORY BELOW ————-

Cruise ship ZENITH threatens to exclude Piraeus Port from the cruise route if strikes continue to hinder passangers’ disembarking.

Spanish managers of ZENITH cruiser are seriously considering  to ‘delete” Piraeus from the list of destination ports if strikes continue and the embarg & disembark of passangers is hindered.

“The interruption of the services of Zenith will mean for the Greece loss of revenue of 10 million and 400 jobs,” said the  Federation of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE), which urges the government to protect the Greek tourism and the country from been ridiculed.

According to TA NEA newspaper,  SETE stated that Zenith cruise liner planned to transfer about 100,000 Spanish tourists this summer to Greece via 33 weekly cruises, with Piraeus as port of embarkation and disembarkation.

Strikes started when the Greek government made public the “watering” of Cabotage Law, which prohibids  cruise ships not flying a E.U flag to dock at Greek ports if they don’t employ a specific number of Greek Seamen, according to the number of passangers.

Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) fears job losses for Greek workers if the Cabotage Law will be lifted.

PNO has called a 24-hour strike for Monday, 7th June 2010, which will result in the suspension of all ferry routes. On the same day, protesting seamen are planning to converge at the main port of Piraeus and prevent tourists from boarding the Zenith, which is  Malta-flagged (EU) but is  US-owned (Non EU).

End of May 2010, Zenith was forced to remain moored at Piraeus after protesting seamen barred 970 tourists from reboarding the vessel. The tourists spent the night at hotels in the Greek capital.

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