Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2015.
Cruise ships are often calling relatively small ports since they represent attractive venues in the cruise experience; a sense of exclusiveness. However, depending on the local amenities, such as docks, they can have disruptive impacts on local communities. The above cruise ship, the Celestyal Crystal, is docked at the port of Chios, an island in the Aegean Sea in Greece. The town has a population of about 32,000. Initially used as a ferry, the ship was rebuilt in 1992 as a full-fledged 1000 passengers cruise ship. Although this cruise ship is relatively small, the docking facilities are directly adjacent to the main commercial street. To ensure a safe boarding and onboarding, one street lane has to be closed, impeding local circulation. However, such impacts are minor compared with what communities such as Venice and Santorini are facing since they have several cruise ships docked (or anchored) at once. The thousands of daily cruise passengers are placing acute pressures on the touristic amenities of these high profile destinations.
Two days after the above photo was taken, the Celestyal Crystal collided with a tanker off the coast of Gallipoli in Turkey. No injuries were reported and the ship was slightly damaged at the bow. This incident underlines navigation difficulties due to congestion in the Bosporus Strait.