Posted October 26th, 2015
4 Of The World’s Busiest Cruise Ports
The most popular cruise ports in the world welcome millions of passengers to their shores every year. From Asia to the Americas, destinations are making room for the largest cruise liners in existence in order to take advantages of the increasingly high numbers for which they have the capacity. Whilst new ports are always being added to cruise lines’ itineraries, existing ones are constantly expanding to accommodate for more ships and increase their share of this lucrative market.
So let’s take a look at some of the busiest ports in the world and what draws cruisers to them.
This city in Florida was the busiest ocean port of all during 2014, with a massive 4.85 million people arriving throughout the year. For over two decades, PortMiami has been at the top of this list, earning it the nickname of ‘Cruise Capital of the World’. No less than eight different passenger terminals help to accommodate all of the guests, whilst there is also a lot of cargo traffic coming in and out too.
Guests who arrive here have an easy journey into downtown Miami, taking a cab or shuttle along Port Boulevard and into the main tourist areas. Top attractions include the immensely popular beaches, numerous shopping malls, the zoo, Seaquarium and the Vizcaya Museum.
PortMiami is part of a busy cruise area on the west coast of America, as nearby Port Canaveral and Port Everglades each also see over 4 million visitors a year.
Barcelona just pipped Civitavecchia (the gateway to Rome) to being the busiest cruise port in the Mediterranean in 2014. Around 2.35 million people embarked a ship, finished their cruise or made a stop here during the year and this is set to increase in the years to come. Work is due to start next year on a private cruise terminal to be built and operated by Carnival Corporation. It will be Barcelona’s seventh, the largest in Europe and welcome guests sailing with cruise lines such as P&O Cruises and Cunard. The expansion is due to be opened in 2018.
For those arriving, Barcelona can offer Gothic architecture in abundance. There’s the unfinished Sagrada Familia, the beautiful Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia and even an entire Gothic Quarter to explore. Besides this, the city has excellent shopping opportunities, art courtesy of masters such as Joan Miró and Gaudi, and glorious beaches.
The Caribbean port of Sint Maarten just squeezed into the top ten busiest cruise ports of 2014, coming in 9th with a fraction over two million visitors throughout the year. Although one of the smallest islands, it is without doubt one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean Sea. It lies close to Anguilla and is split into two territories; one governed by France and the other belonging to The Netherlands.
The cruise port is located on the Dutch side, welcoming passengers into a world of excellent duty-free shopping opportunities. There are also stunning beaches, great nightlife, casinos and plenty of chances to sample the local rum.
Whilst the name Piraeus may not mean too much to you, the reason for including it on this list becomes obvious when you learn that it is the gateway to Athens. Flying the flag for the Eastern Mediterranean, it saw 1,055,556 cruise passengers in 2014. Although this only puts it in 15th on the list of the world’s busiest cruise ports, other passenger vessel traffic makes it the largest passenger port in Europe and the second largest in the world.
Once you arrive, it is just a small journey into the centre of Athens, where you can uncover historical and cultural gems. The most popular things to do in the city include visiting the Acropolis and its museum, marvelling at the Parthenon, admiring the Temple of Olympian Zeus and experiencing the lively atmosphere at the Athens Central Market.
If you would like to sail into any of these ports and see them for yourself, we can offer the best itineraries from the best cruise lines, aboard the best ships. Call us today for more information or use the search box to find your perfect cruise.