The Portuguese cruise ports expect to end 2010 with over 1 million passengers and about 770 cruise calls, according to the Port of Lisbon. If these figures are confirmed this will be a record year for cruise business in Portugal representing an increase of 15% in terms of cruise passengers and 8% regarding the calls.

In fact, from January to October there was a 12% increase in the number of cruise passengers in the ports of the Azores, Porto-Leixoes, Lisbon, Funchal and Portimão. Until October, 843,458 passengers called the Portuguese ports against 750,253 recorded in the same period in 2009, with all ports registering an increase.

This growth is due to transit passenger segment that registered an increase of 19%, from 664,771 in 2009 to 791,339 in 2010. In fact, all ports encountered for positive evolution such as 56% in Porto-Leixoes, 53% in Portimão, 22% in Madeira, 13% in Lisbon and 11% in the Azores.

Regarding the number of calls, there was an increase of 8%. Indeed, until October 2010, Portuguese ports registered 617 calls against 571 recorded in the same period of 2009. The ports of Porto-Leixoes, Funchal and Portimão registered the greatest increases: 22%, 50% and 13% respectively.

During this year, the portuguese ports received a total of 54 first calls of cruise ships, distributed as follows by the 5 ports: 19 in Lisbon, 5 in Porto-Leixoes and in the Azores, 5 in Portimão and 16 in Funchal. This fact shows the growing importance of our ports on the itinerary of the cruise ships.

In order to promote the growth of the cruise business in Portugal and to enhance the prestige of the national ports in this tourism segment, the Portuguese ports of Lisbon, Porto-Leixoes, Portimão and the Azores, joined the Portugal stand in Seatrade Med Cruise Convention. The port of Funchal is represented at the stand "Cruises in the Atlantic Islands", along with Canary island ports.

The port of Lisbon and Porto-Leixões are also represented at the stand of Cruise Atlantic Europe, together with the ports of La Coruña, Bilbao, Brestm, St. Malo, Cork and Dover.