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Skip Navigation · Home · Cruise ship tourism continues to be on the up: 4.4 million passengers in the first half of the year
Cruise ship tourism continues to be on the up: 4.4 million passengers in the first half of the year

In 2017, the cruise ship sector had a turnover of €1.481 million and directly employed 31,233 people

Cruise ship tourism continues to be on the up: 4.4 million passengers in the first half of the year


  • The Canary Islands ports were the most visited ports and those with the largest growth.


10-08-2018 (Ministry of Public Works). Cruise ship tourism has become a regular form of traffic in Spanish ports. More than 4.4 million cruise ship passengers climbed aboard at one of the State's 46 ports of general interest over the first 6 months of the year, which represents a 23.5% increase compared to the 2017 data.


According to the data provided by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), this sector made a direct contribution of 1.481 million Euros to the Spanish economy last year, 12% more than in 2015 and directly employing 31,233 people.


The President of Puertos del Estado, Ornella Chacón, emphasised the work done by the Port Authorities and other agents in the sector to maintain and boost the cruise ship market. "Cruise ship passengers also generate indirect employment opportunities and drive the local economy, which improves quality of life for thousands of families", she explained.


Spain holds 2nd place in Europe for the amount of cruise ship passengers received, and it is the 4th largest sending country with more than 510 thousand Spanish citizens having boarded ships in 2017. The Port of Barcelona is cited in this same report as the number one port in Europe, with more than 2.7 million cruise ship passengers in 2017, followed by Civitavecchia (2.2 million) and the ports of the Balearic Island with 2.1 million.


The impressive spike in cruise ship passenger traffic in Spanish ports has, in particular, been spurred on by the good performance if the ports of the Canary Islands archipelago, which grew by more than 35.6%, up from the 960,848 passengers in the first half of 2017, at 1.3 million in 2018.


With 2.76 million passengers, Mediterranean ports grew by 19.9%, while those of the mainland Atlantic grew by 14.8% with 404,278.


For the Autonomous Communities, Catalonia, with the ports of Barcelona and Tarragona, receives the second largest number of cruise ship passengers after the Canary Islands. With 1.29 million passengers, it underwent a 22.9% increase.


The Balearic Islands ports have accumulated a total of 965,404 cruise ship passengers with a 27.8% increase.


Cruise ship passengers passing through the Andalusian ports added up to 424, 019, representing an 15.5% increase on 2017.


In the Community of Valencia, the ports of Alicante, Castellón and Valencia received more than 199 thousand passengers, 5% more than last year.


As for the five Galician ports, they hit 140,271 passengers, thus suffering a drop of 5.9%.


More than 86,536 cruise ship passengers arrived to the Community of Murcia, the port of Cartagena.


In the Basque Country, the ports of Bilbao and Pasaia received more than 42,875 passengers, an increase of 13%.


In Asturias, the ports of Avilés and Gijón reached 13,756 passengers.


To close this report, the ports of Santander and Ceuta, with 5,387 and 1,228 passengers, respectively.


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