Greek shipping union bosses have blamed inadequate infrastructure at the country's ports following this week's incident when two cruise ships collided in Piraeus, Athens.
Pullmantur's Zenith with 1,819 passengers onboard hit the Greek-flagged Aegean Pearl, with 504 passengers onboard, as it was manoeuvring to dock in the port on Monday.
Greek news Web site Kathimerini has said that this collision was the fourth in the Aegean within a month -- the site reported that a number of Greek ferries have been involved in incidents where they have struck reefs, rocks or hit a moored vessel.
"Most ports do not have adequate piers and are not large enough to accommodate large cruise ships," Achilleas Tarlamis, the general secretary of the Masters and Mates' Union of the Greek Merchant Marine, told Kathimerini.
Meanwhile shipping trade publication Seatrade is reporting that Aegean Pearl, which is owned by Louis Cruise Line, was damaged at deck level, starboard side, and some lifeboats were also damaged. The ship was allowed to sail sans passengers to Syros' Neorion Shipyard to undergo repairs.
--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor
Two Cruise Ships Collide in Greece
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Update: Latest on the Cruise Ship Collision in Greece
July 30, 2008