Cruising is a popular tourist activity. Cruises can range from short-duration journeys on small vessels to multiple-day tours in luxury cruise ships that travel to different destinations or ports-of-call. The ports that receive cruise ships are often equipped with special facilities to ensure that the cruise guests feel comfortable and have a good time after leaving their ships. Such ports have restaurants, bars, transport facilities to take tourists to local sightseeing places, and more. Cruise ports are important to the local economy as they provide employment opportunities to many people and also earn revenue from tourist spending. The world’s busiest cruise ports have been mentioned below.
10. Port of Galveston
Located in Galveston, Texas, the Port of Galveston has welcomed ships from most major cruise lines like Disney Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, and others. Many cruise hips call the port home year-round. The port has two terminals dedicated to cruises.
9. Port of Civitavecchia
Located in the Metropolitan City of Rome in the region of Lazio, the Port of Civitavecchia on the Tyrrhenian Sea offers a gateway to the Italian capital city of Rome and Vatican which are 90 minutes away. Cruise passengers arriving at this port can also enjoy the sightseeing activities in Civitavecchia itself. The place hosts Forte Michelangelo and Terme Taurine baths among other attractions. Many major cruise lines begin and end their cruises at Civitavecchia. Others stop at the port for shore excursion days.
8. Ports of Out Islands
The Out Islands are a group of islands that are part of the Bahamas including the Eleuthera and Abaco Islands. There are around 700 islands in this group but only a few of them are inhabited. These islands serve as important cruise terminals and many cruises operating on the Caribbean route stop by at these ports. The passengers can then enjoy the tropical weather, beaches, water activities, island exploration, and other fun and adventurous activities in the Outer Islands.
7. Port of Barcelona -
The Spanish Port of Barcelona is the world’s seventh busiest cruise port. The port has a 2000-year old history. It is equipped with seven international passenger terminals and modern facilities like air conditioning, public telephones, restaurants and bars, shuttle bus to the city center, and more. The city itself is host to a large number of cultural and historical attractions including several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, museums, parks, and beaches.
6. Port of Shanghai
The Port of Shanghai is the first port on this list that is not from North America. It is a deep-sea and river port near Shanghai in China. It serves as an important port of call for most major cruises operating on the Asia-Pacific route. The Port of Shanghai has three international cruise terminals that receive ships of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ocean Princess, Costa Rica Cruises, Star Cruises, and others.
5. Port of Nassau -
The world’s fifth busiest cruise port is located in Nassau, the capital city of Bahamas in New Providence Island. Cruise vessels at this port dock at the Prince George Wharf which is right in the middle of Nassau. Vacationers from the US are the most common passengers on these cruises. From the port, tourists visit downtown Nassau or nearby islands for enjoying beach activities, shopping, exploring reefs and mangroves, kayaking, snorkeling, etc.
4. Port of Cozumel
The fourth busiest cruise port in the world, unlike the first three busiest ones, is not located in the US but is in the Cozumel Island in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico. Major Western Caribbean cruises use it as their port of call. Cozumel Island serves as a major tourist attraction with its pleasant tropical weather, beaches, and beach activities like snorkeling, fishing, diving, etc.
3. Port Everglades
The Port Everglades is located in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It serves as a gateway to both cruise vacations and international trade. In 2016-17, Port Everglades received over 3.8 million cruise passengers. In 2017, it had 846 ship calls. Cruise lines with cruise ships operating out of this port include Balearia, Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and others.
2. Port Canaveral
The world’s second busiest cruise port is also located in the US. It is Port Canaveral in Florida’s Brevard County. It also serves as a cargo and naval port. It received over 4.2 million cruise passengers in 2016-17. An average of 10 ships enters the port each day including those from famous cruise lines like Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and others.
1. Port of Miami
Located in Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, PortMiami is the world’s busiest cruise port. Port Boulevard, a causeway connects the port to Downtown Miami. It is also connected to Watson Island through the PortMiami Tunnel. Due to its huge traffic volume, both passenger and cargo, PortMiami has a significant impact on the economy of Miami. It also accounts for 176,000 jobs. The cruise terminals of PortMiami are among the most modern in the world. Special arrangements are made for drive-in passengers and those who are differently abled.
The 10 Busiest Cruise Ports In The World
|Rank||Port||Number of cruise passengers (2016 / 2017)|
|1||Port of Miami||49,80,490|
|4||Port of Cozumel||36,36,649|
|5||Port of Nassau||35,21,178|
|6||Port of Shanghai||28,47,000|
|7||Port of Barcelona||27,12,247|
|8||Ports of Out Islands||25,49,803|
|9||Port of Civitavecchia||22,04,336|
|10||Port of Galveston||17,30,289|
|11||Port of George Town||17,11,853|
|12||Ports of St. Thomas/St. John||16,94,008|
|13||Port of Philipsburg||16,68,863|
|14||Ports of Jamaica||16,55,565|
|15||Port of New York and New Jersey||15,37,695|
|16||Port of Southampton||15,29,000|
|17||Port of Marseille||14,87,313|
|18||Port of Venice||14,27,812|
|19||Port of Singapore||13,79,753|
|20||Port of San Juan||13,79,367|
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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