The Mediterranean region is one of the world’s top cruise destinations. Numerous seaports on the Mediterranean Sea serve as the gateway to impressive historical, cultural, and natural attractions including many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some of the world’s most historically renowned cities like Venice, Naples, and Barcelona are located on the coasts of this sea. Thus, the seaports on the Mediterranean are some of the world’s busiest in terms of passenger inflow from cruise ships. Here is a list of the same:
10. Las Palmas - 815,000 Visitors
Las Palmas is the capital city of the Gran Canaria island in the Atlantic Ocean. Although the city and seaport are not located on the Mediterranean coastline, it receives cruise ships from all over the world. Many cruise lines to the Mediterranean include the island in their itinerary.
9. Savona - 854,000 Visitors
Savona is a commune and a seaport located in Liguria, Italy. The seaport here is located in the Riviera di Ponente on the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the region’s busiest ports for cruise lines. Savona houses numerous attractions like churches, palaces, towers, and fortresses that speak of the age-old history of this city.
8. Genoa - 925,000 Visitors
Genoa, the capital of the Liguria region in Italy, has the eighth busiest port in the Mediterranean. It is located on the Gulf of Genoa in the Ligurian Sea. Several ferry and cruise lines operate their cruises from this port. It is equipped with various facilities to serve the millions of passengers that visit Genoa. The tourists visit Genoa to learn about its glorious past and take a tour of its impressive landmarks.
7. Naples - 927,000 Visitors
The Port of Naples is one of the largest seaports in the Mediterranean Sea basin and one of the largest passenger ports in Italy. The cruise terminal of the Naples seaport has 7 mobile walkways, 10 mooring places, and 12 computerized check-in desks. The port also has the capacity to host about 1.5 million passengers per year.
6. Piraeus - 1,056,000 Visitors
Piraeus is a port city located in the Attica region of Greece within the Athens urban area. It is based on the east coast of the Saronic Gulf on the Mediterranean Sea. The port in Piraeus is the biggest Greek port and one of the largest passenger ports in the continent. About 20 million passengers visit the port at Piraeus every year. While the city serves as a gateway for cruise passengers to Athens, it itself has numerous historical, cultural, and architectural attractions.
5. Venice - 1,428,000 Visitors
Venice, the capital of the Veneto region, is a northeastern Italian city. It is located on the Venetian Lagoon (an enclosed bay) between the mouths of two rivers. There are several islands in the region that are connected to each other via a network of navigable canals and bridges. A part of Venice and the lagoon have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Venice is well-known for its beauty, architecture, and artwork. The Port of Venice is one of the busiest Mediterranean ports for both cargo and cruise ships. The city is visited by 22 to 30 million tourists annually. Given a large number of visitors to the city, the authorities are concerned about the irreversible damages caused to the environment of Venice by the tourists. Thus, steps have been taken to limit the number of cruise ships visiting the port of Venice.
4. Marseille - 1,487,000 Visitors
The second largest city of France, Marseille is located on the south coast of France. It serves as the Bouches-du-Rhône department’s capital. It is now the largest French city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the biggest port for cruise ships, freight, and commerce. Marseille port receives millions of tourists every year. The beaches, architecture, culture, and history of the city draw tourists from far and wide. There are 24 museums and 42 theaters in the city alone! In 2012, Marseille received 4.1 million visitors making it one of the most visited French cities.
3. Palma Majorca - 1,673,000 Visitors
The Palma Majorca is the capital city of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community located in Spain. The city is located on the south coast of Mallorca, the largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago on the Bay of Palma. The city is also a major seaport in the Mediterranean region. It is the third busiest seaport in the region in terms of cruise passenger numbers visiting the port. Tourism is thus the major economic activity in this city. Over 50% of the population is actively engaged in this industry. High tourism revenue has thus made Palma Majorca wealthier than many other cities in the region. There are several cultural and historical tourists attractions in the city like the Plaça d’Espanya, the Cathedral area, the Mallorca Distillery, the Old City, etc. The Serra de Tramuntana is a mountain range near the Palma Majorca which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Civitavecchia - 2,204,000 Visitors
Civitavecchia is a town and a Tyrrhenian Sea seaport located in the Metropolitan City of Rome in Lazio, Italy. The Port of Civitavecchia is a major center for maritime transport in the country and the entire Mediterranean region as well. It is well-linked to several other seaports on the Mediterranean. It acts as the gateway to Rome and the Vatican City which are about ninety minutes away from the port. Nearly all major cruise lines operating in the region begin and end their cruises at this port. Many others stop at the port for shore excursion days for guests to visit Rome and the Vatican.
1. Barcelona - 2,712,000 Visitors
Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia in Spain. It is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the mouths of two rivers, the Besòs and the Llobregat. The 2000-year old seaport of Barcelona is associated with great commercial significance. It is one of the largest container ports in Europe. The Barcelona harbor is the busiest cruise port in the Mediterranean region. It is an important port of call for all cruise lines operating in the Mediterranean since it is the gateway to numerous attractions. Numerous historical and cultural attractions, as well as parks and beaches, are located here. Several sights in and around the city have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.