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Skip Navigation · Home · Cruise ship visits to Spain continue breaking records
Cruise ship visits to Spain continue breaking records

5.3 million cruise passengers passed through ports of general interest in the first 7 months of the year

Cruise ship visits to Spain continue breaking records


  • The investment in facilities and infrastructures related to passenger traffic will amount to €262 million.
  • Malaga port will host the 14th edition of the Seatrade Cruise Med to be held in 2020.
  • The Canary Islands ports grew by 35%, exceeding 1.3 million passengers.
  • 66% of cruise passengers, 3.5 million, visited a Mediterranean port.


17/09/2018 (Ministry of Public Works and Transport). A large representation of the Spanish port system, headed by the president of Puertos del Estado, Ornella Chacón, will attend the main cruise ship trade show that takes place in Europe, the Seatrade Cruise Med, to be held this year in Lisbon between September 19 and 21.


Seatrade Cruise Med will be the setting where 23 Spanish Port Authorities (A Coruña, Alicante, Almeria, Avilés, Bay of Algeciras, Bay of Cádiz, Balearic Islands, Bilbao, Cartagena, Castellón, Ceuta, Ferrol, Gijón, Huelva, Málaga, Melilla, Motril, Santander, Seville, Tarragona, Valencia, Vigo and Vilagarcía de Arousa) as well as companies in the sector will roll out the blue carpet (Blue Carpet is the slogan used in the Ports of Spain stand) that opens the way to publicise this type of tourism in our country. During the first seven months of the year, passenger traffic of cruise ships through Spanish ports reached 5,374,758 people. This figure entailed an increase of 20.85% with respect to the same period the previous year, which has meant a record high has been reached.


The President of Puertos del Estado indicated that "Although the incidence of cruise traffic entails a smaller contribution to the port system's income statement, its relevance for the local and regional economies is increasingly appreciable since they generate a great number of indirect jobs, in addition to providing an important incentive for sectors related to tourism". In this regard, it should be remembered that according to data provided by the International Association of Cruise Lines (CLIA), the direct contribution of this sector to the Spanish economy reached 1.481 billion euros last year, 12% more than in 2015, giving direct employment to 31,233 people.


In addition, the President of Puertos del Estado has announced that it is planned that the state-owned port system shall invest around €262 million in infrastructure and facilities dedicated to passengers in the period between 2018 and 2021, of which more than €188 M will be for cruises. This includes the extension of the Adosado dock at Barcelona port (€54 million); various actions at Palma de Mallorca port (€54 million); the maritime terminal and the cruise ship dock at Valencia port (€25 million); and the extension of the cruise ship dock at Arrecife port (€10.9 million).


Finally, Ornella Chacón highly appreciates the choice of Malaga to host the next Seatrade Cruise Med event in 2020, "It will be a new opportunity to highlight the potential and tourist offering of Spain as a preferred destination for cruise tourism".


The growth of island destinations above the average, particularly the Canary Islands, +35%, that already have more than 1.3 million passengers, along with the good performance of the ports of the Atlantic peninsular, particularly Vigo (+ 31.5%) and Bahía de Cádiz (+25%), indicate that 2018 will end up surpassing the forecasts established by the Port Authorities themselves that placed the closing figure at 9.4 million passengers.


Notwithstanding the above data, the ports located in the Mediterranean continue being the main incubator of the cruises in Spain since two out of three cruise passengers, i.e. 66%, stopped at a port on these coasts, surpassing 3.5 million passengers. With 1.6 million passengers, Barcelona is Europe's main port, and along with the Balearic Islands they represent 82% of the cruise traffic of the Spanish Mediterranean coasts.



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