Spanish ports welcome a record 10m-plus cruise passengers in 2018

Leading Spanish cruise port Barcelona welcomed over 3m passengers last year Leading Spanish cruise port Barcelona welcomed over 3m passengers last year

Puertos del Estado has released cruise data for 2018 showing a 9.66% growth year-on-year with total passenger count up at 10,178,169 and the first time to break the 10m mark. Port calls totaled 4,384, up 3.45%, confirming the clear trend towards higher capacity vessels.

Barcelona was ahead of the game, with 3.05m passengers, a steady 12.4% growth, aboard 829 vessel calls, which was up 7%, but behind the Balearics. Second place in pax numbers, the Balearics received a total count of 2.43m visitors, an increase of 14.1%, on 858 vessel calls, 4% ahead of 2017.

Canaries steadily climbing the ranks

In the Canaries, Las Palmas took third place nationally, with 1.33m passengers, up 7%, aboard 586 port calls, a growth of 3.7%. Santa Cruz de Tenerife came fourth by both measures, with 1.02m passengers, a gain of 5.8%, on 549 calls, a modest 1.9% growth.

Fifth position in terms of passengers went to Málaga, counting 507,421, dipping by 0.4%, on 299 calls, falling even with 2017 and in sixth place.

Number six by headcount was Bahia de Cádiz, drawing 424,900, up by 9.8%, with 334 vessel calls, growing by 14.8% into fifth position.

Valencia managed seventh place in both categories, handling 421,518 passengers, up by 2.2%, on 194 vessel calls, a 4.4% decline.

Standing eighth was Cartagena, reporting 229,313 passengers, a 3% decrease, on 151 calls, a minor 0.66% slippage.

Ninth position went to A Coruña, reporting 178,965 passengers, down by 2.8%, on 94 port calls, a sharp 24% decrease. Vigo was in tenth place, with 158,449 passengers, up by 13%. Sevilla edged into tenth place in vessel calls, 75 in total, a 6.5% decrease.

Cruise traffic reflects 'wealth gap'

Overall these figures are mostly from developed economies, effectively reflecting a 'wealth gap'. Totaling 4.48m passengers between them Barcelona and the Balearics took more than half the total Spanish cruise traffic. The two Canary Island ports added another 2.35m, taking the top four to three quarters of the passenger flow. A strong increase in cruise traffic is the clear trend year-on-year across these regions.



Posted 21 March 2019

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