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Despite fewer calls, Spanish ports raised passenger count 3.7% in 1H

Canaries ports of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (above) and Las Palmas bucking the trend
Spanish ports eked out a 3.7% increase in cruise passengers, despite a 2.7% drop to 1,627 port calls in the first half of 2014.

Spanish ports administered by the public sector Puertos del Estado reported passenger numbers rose to 3,249,554 during the first six months, in spite of the 2.7% decrease in calls.

Among the top 10, five recorded increases, but two of those were minimal. 

Leading the list, as usual, was Barcelona, where 591,263 passengers, down 9.3%, arrived aboard 322 vessel calls, an 8.3% decline.

The Balearic Island ports were in second place, up 5.2% to 591,263 passengers despite a 4.1% decrease to 256 port calls, fourth-ranking in that category.

Standing third was Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, racking up a 54.5% gain to 576,062 passengers aboard 274 port calls, a 19.1% increase. The impact of larger capacity vessels was clearly evident, and the success of Las Palmas was effectively the engine in pushing overall Spanish statistics into the plus column.

In fourth place was nearby Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with a 6.8% gain to 448,121 passengers aboard 275 calls, a minuscule 0.4% decline which nonetheless placed the port second in that category.

Málaga came in fifth, declining 2.6% to 167,860 passengers, a respectable achievement in light of the 15.5% decrease to 93 port calls, sixth-ranking in Spain.

The Bay of Cádiz placed sixth in passengers, slipping 2.8% to 146,961 aboard 122 port calls, a 5.4% decrease which claimed fifth spot.

Valencia came in seventh place with 124,300 passengers, down significantly by 28.8%, on 68 port calls, also down sharply by 25.3%

No other Spanish ports reported as many as 60,000 passengers, nor more than 43 calls. Some 22 Puertos del Estado ports received cruise ships in the first half of the year.