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Greek cruise boost for Kefalonia

Greek holiday cruise boost for Kefalonia.

Kefalonia is hoping to cash in on Greek Island holiday cruises next year after a major upgrade of facilities at the main port of Argostoli.

Kefalonia tourist officials say more than 100 cruise liners are scheduled to tie up in Argostoli in 2012, nearly double last year's total.

The Greek island holiday cruise liners are set to bring more than 250,000 tourists to Kefalonia over the 2012 summer holiday season.

Kefalonians are particularly pleased at a deal struck with the Italian Costa Cruise line which will bring an estimated 80 cruise ship to Kefalonia this year, carrying around 200,000 passengers.

It is thought the first Costa Cruise liner will arrive on March 21 and the last will leave Kefalonia on November 21, bringing a much needed boost to the Kefalonia tourism economy.

Meanwhile, a row has broken out over a Friendship Monument erected in Argostoli harbour to welcome Russian visitors to the island.

Questions are being asked about the cost of the monument when records show that only 27 Russian tourists arrived through the port in 2011. Some locals are sarcastically suggesting that Kefalonia airport should now be renamed after the Russian leader Vladmir Putin.

Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia and the island's main working port. It is located on the east cost of Kefalonia within a large natural harbour.

Argostoli has developed into one of the busiest ports in the Greek islands in recent and this has helped the Kefalonia economy to prosper. A 2001 census recorded a population of 12,589 in the Argostoli district with 9,037 living in the town itself.

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