Lisbon registers record cruise ship numbers last year

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A record number of cruise ships stopped off in Lisbon in 2017, the Port of Lisbon announced on Thursday.

A total of 123 different cruise ships docked in the Portuguese capital over the course of 2017, beating the previous best of 120 registered in 2013.

The 123 ships made port 330 times, a 6 percent increase on 2016.

The number of passengers coming to Lisbon on cruise ships totaled 521,042. This is a marginal (0.3 percent) year-on-year fall, reflecting an industry-wide reduction in ship capacity.

The statistics complete a successful year for Lisbon’s port, with a new cruise ship terminal having opened in November.

The prospects for 2018 are also bright. Lisbon will host the Seatrade Cruise Med, the industry’s leading trade event for the Mediterranean region, in September and will likely see an increase in traffic as a consequence.

The Portuguese capital is an increasingly popular and strategic port of call for cruise ships traveling from the north of Europe to the Mediterranean, Africa or the Atlantic islands, or crossing the Atlantic.

Nevertheless, Lisbon still lags significantly far behind Barcelona, Europe’s busiest cruise ship port, with its average of 2.6 million passengers per year.

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