Ships in Barcelona

MedCruise has reported 27.4 million passenger visits at its member ports for 2016, down from 27.8 million the year before. The total number of ship calls reached 13,467, also down from 13,533 calls in 2015.

2016 was the second consecutive year that the average number of passengers per cruise call in the Mediterranean was more than 2,000 -- at 2,038. Ship sizes vary per region, however, with the average number of passengers per call being 4,273 in the Western Mediterranean,3,035 in the Adriatic, 2,838 in the Eastern Mediterranean and 1,458 on the Black Sea.

According to the 2016 MedCruise annual report, the region has seen steady growth from 8.5 million passengers in 2007 to 27.7 million in 2011, when traffic leveled off.

In 2016, Barcelona posted the highest traffic at 2.7 million passengers, followed by Civitavecchia with 2.3 million, the Balearic Islands with 2.0 million, Venice with 1.6 million, Marseille with 1.6 million, Naples with 1.3 million, Piraeus with 1.0 million, Genoa with 1.0 million, Savona with 910,000 and Tenerife Ports with 884,000.

Regionally, the Western Mediterranean dominated last year with 20.1 million passengers, according to MedCruise. The Adriatic had 4.7 million, the Eastern Mediterranean 2.6 million, and the Black Sea only 16,741.

Compared to 2012, the Western Mediterranean saw an increase of 8.3 percent, while the Eastern Mediterranean saw a drop of 20.0 percent, the Adriatic a drop of 2.3 percent, and the Black Sea traffic fell 88.6 percent. In addition, Tunisia only saw 757 cruise passengers last year, compared to 528,708 in 2012.

On a country basis, Italy got the largest share of the traffic with 10.4 million passengers visiting in 2016, compared to 6.7 million for Spain, 2.6 million for France, 2.3 million for Greece, 1.3 million for Croatia and 1.2 million for Portugal.

Eighty-two percent of the traffic is concentrated between April and October, with the busiest period from July through October. The busiest single month last year was October with 3.8 million passenger visits. January is the slowest month with 619,000.

At the end of 2016, MedCruise had 72 port members, representing more than 100 ports in the region, including the Black Sea, the Red Sea and what it calls the Near Atlantic.