The summer of 2023 is on track to break all tourist records. After the good hotel results in July and the soaring reservations in August, Spanish ports have also seen how their numbers of cruise passengers have not stopped growing this summer, closing the first seven months of the year with a total of 6.1 million passengers. . This represents a spectacular increase of 74.8% compared to 2022, the year in which many burdens of the pandemic were still dragging. The figure even exceeds by 7.6% that registered in the mythical 2019, when 5.6 million cruise passengers docked in Spain during the same period, setting 2019 as the benchmark year with which all tourist results have been measured since so.
Barcelona, with 1.8 million cruise passengers, leads the ranking of the busiest ports, followed in second place by the Balearic Islands, with almost 1.3 million cruise passengers. Further away are the Canary ports of Las Palmas and Tenerife, although with excellent results, since during the first seven months of the year they have almost doubled the volume of their cruise passengers.
The progressive return of large ships to the Mediterranean after the pandemic has allowed ports such as Barcelona to increase their passage in July but reduce the number of ships docked. Specifically, there have been eight ships less than in July 2022 (86 compared to 78), but this year's records have included heavyweights such as Symphony of the Seas (361 meters in length), Anthem of the Seas (347) Arvia ( 344.5) Epic (329) or MSC World Europe (333). All of them with tickets between 4,000 and 6,500 cruise passengers.
From the data provided by Puertos del Estado, the behavior of the port of Tarragona as a cruise port also stands out, with a growth of 140%, although it still barely exceeds the 49,000 cruise passengers so far this year.
At a global level, and also taking regular line passengers into account, total passenger traffic in the 46 Spanish ports has also maintained a strong upward trend, with growth of 27.6% up to July, which means 20, 8 million passengers in total.