“In 2016 we had 416 calls and around 800,000 passengers. In 2017 we expect fewer calls but about 900,000 passengers. We'll have growth in 2017 with the arrival of larger capacity ships,” said Giovanni Spadoni, technical and commercial director for the Port of Livorno.

The port can currently berth three large ships, with extra docking available at other piers with priority berthing for passenger ships, said Spadoni.

“The berthing problems we had in the past have been overcome, in fact we also had six ships simultaneously,” he said.

The port also handles partial turnarounds for Costa and MSC, with five calls scheduled later this year from the Costa Diadema.

Looking to the future, Livorno could play into LNG bunkering, with a LNG terminal just 12 miles from the port.

“We are looking at using the LNG plant to re-fuel new LNG ships,” said Spadoni. “We are working on authorization procedures and feel we will be on the first ports with (gas) availability.”

The close-proximity LNG supply may mean cruise lines could bunker directly without barges or trucks.