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, according to a press release from the organization. Cruise Atlantic comprises eight ports in five countries of what it calls 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 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.”

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.