With cruise visitors in 2013 set to exceed 1.25 million, the ports of Cruise Atlantic Europe have experienced six years of continued growth as cruise traffic in the region increases.
Cruise Atlantic Europe comprises eight ports in five countries of the Atlantic front - Lisbon, Porto (Leixões), A Coruña, Bilbao, Brest, St Malo, Dover and Cork.
Helena Fernandes from the Port Authority of Leixões said: “It comes as no surprise that cruise visitors are on the rise as switched on cruise operators have realised that operating in the Atlantic Europe region provides some incredible incentives.
“Operating cruises to this selection of ports can both save money in terms of fuel costs and lower port charges but also provides an opportunity to increase revenue by promoting profitable shore excursions.
“It’s a win-win situation and we would encourage all cruise operators to take advantage of the region.”
Growth has been accelerated by major investment in new cruise terminals at Bilbao and A Coruña plus new cruise ship berths at Porto (Leixões), Lisbon and St Malo.
Now in addition to the strong appeal of the destinations to cruise customers, the new cruise ship facilities make the region more accessible to some of the biggest ships in the industry.
Fernandes added: “Our success proves that Atlantic Europe is becoming more than just an option for cruise operators when ships are re-positioning to the Mediterranean.
“There are increasing opportunities for short cruises in the region with the added appeal of embarkation from multiple markets.”