Shipping makes the world go round

If it’s not evident by now, the seas play a crucial role in Greece. From beautiful getaway beaches, to open sea highways, the sea is important to every Greek. It’s no wonder that through tradition, hard work and determination, the Greek shipping industry is one of the best in the world.

That’s why the participants traveled to Piraeus, where a reception was held in their honor at the beautiful Yacht Club of Greece. Full of energy, Art Dimopoulos, Executive Director of the National Hellenic Society, introduced the distinguished guests, among them HRH Princess Tatiana Blatnik, Kate Marie Byrnes, Deputy Chief of Mission for the United States Embassy in Athens, George M. Marcus, and Dr. David G. Horner, President of The American College of Greece.

Everyone understood the importance of the meeting, which had a kindness to it, as the organizers welcomed the participants to the new family, establishing connections which are sure to strengthen the bond between the United States and Greece; linking one home to another.

Christina Bordenet was excited to be in such an environment. “The yacht club was incredible! It was so nice to spend time with all the participants on the trip. It was so awesome to meet so many inspiring people, like Princess Tatiana. There was also a wealth of networking opportunities for everyone, no matter their major. And of course, the views and the food was incredible!”

After the beautiful reception, the group visited the SS Hellas Liberty, a historic ship which played a crucial role during WW2, but also was part of the fleet of ship that kick-started the modern Greek shipping industry, solidifying Greece’s position in the global shipping trade. Participants were told the history of the ship by Dimitris Fafalios, a representative of the Union of Greek Shipowners, who also elaborated on the role of the Union, both in Greece and abroad.

After the short presentation and short film on the 100 years of the Union, the participants were free to explore the floating museum, which hid a wealth of information on Greek and Greek-American heritage. Christina found it fascinating. “The Hellenic Liberty Museum was super informative – it helped us gain a deeper understanding of just how vital shipping is to both Greece’s economy and culture. Being able to explore one of the iconic Liberty ships was such a cool experience.”

Adding to what Christina said, Alyssa Eliopulos chimed in. “The Hellenic Liberty museum was interesting because we learned about one of Greece’s most important industries. The most fascinating part was how family oriented all the shipping companies are in Greece. I love how this ties into the tight knit family aspect of Greek culture because this is an amazing example of how family bonds impact the everyday lives of Greeks.”

It has become evident throughout the duration of the program that strong family ties are the key to Greek success. Supporting one another in times of need has always guaranteed success. Be it from emigrants to the United States, all the way up to the Greek economic crisis, it’s the family bonds that allowed Greek to prosper and succeed.

Blog editor and photographer: James (Dimitris) Voutsas


From left to right, Kate Byrnes, Dr. Horner, Art Dimopoulos, George Marcus.


The Heritage Greece family under the blue sky!


Hellas Liberty Museum, moored at Piraeus harbor.


Dimitris Fafalios, representing the Union of Greek Shipowners.

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