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10 Largest Cruise Ports in the World

Submitted by kgnadmin on

The cruise industry contributes enormously to many countries' economies by boosting tourism and generating millions of jobs worldwide. Cruising has become a way to escape the hectic mundane life and enjoy some calm days at sea.With advancements in maritime technologies, modern cruise ports are being built to accommodate giant cruise ships endowed with state-of-the-art facilities.

Port Miami

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Known for its pristine beaches, bayside markets, and vibrant nightlife, Miami is the Cruise Capital of the World and welcomes the largest passenger ships at its nine modern cruise terminals.

The port terminals are named alphabetically and operated by cruise lines. For instance, Terminal A is used by Royal Caribbean International. It is the biggest passenger terminal in the United States, covering 170,000 square feet and handling 2.5 million passengers annually. Oceania and Regent Seven Seas jointly operate Terminal J and receive luxury cruise liners. It is currently undergoing expansion and renovation to construct additional restrooms and escalators.

Port Canaveral

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Global Traveler Magazine declared Port Canaveral the World's Best Cruise Port in 2019. It is the second busiest passenger port in the world, comprising seven cruise terminals, three of which are undergoing expansion. More than 5 million people visit the port annually, contributing 80% to its revenue earnings. Renowned cruise lines like Disney Cruise Line and Carnival operate at the port.

Canaveral has a Cove, a recreational area housing restaurants, hotels, lounges, souvenir shops, casinos, and much more. Most cafes offer outdoor seating, allowing tourists to watch the beautiful waterfront. After sunset, the promenade along the harbor is lined with street-side musicians, DJs, and performers. Tourists can also enjoy camping and fishing at Jetty Park, a famous beach, or visit the theme parks in Orlando, including the famous Kennedy Space Centre.

Port Everglades

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The Port Everglades, situated in Broward County, Florida, is located two miles from the international airport. It has three entrances and is close to Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach. Other popular attractions include the Sawgrass recreation park, the Florida Everglades holiday park, and the Billie Swamp Safari.

It received over 3 million passengers in 2020 and set a world record on December 1, 2019, by receiving 55,964 passengers daily. Porthole Cruise Magazine named it the Best domestic port of 2016.

Port Everglades consists of eight modern cruise terminals welcoming ships from prominent cruise lines like Viking Ocean Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and Balearia Caribbean. The fully air-conditioned terminals offer free Wi-Fi, restrooms, and a spacious seating area with a cafeteria, a shopping center, and exhibition halls. Interestingly, the terminals showcase the artwork of emerging painters and renowned artists like Dale Chihuly as part of the Public Art and Design Programme.


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The Port of Nassau is situated on New Providence Island near the coast of Florida. It is the main seaport of the Bahamas and handles approximately 3 million passengers annually. The highly visited Paradise Island is two miles from the cruise port, home to the Atlantis resort.

Downtown Nassau has many cafes, bookstores, and historic buildings. Bay Street is a shopping hub with stores selling bead jewelry, ceramics, colorful dresses, hats, and more. People can visit the National Art Gallery and the Pompey Museum to familiarize themselves with the town's rich history. Kids would enjoy seeing the Nassau Zoo, Adastra Gardens, and the Science Centre.

The Nassau Cruise Port is being transformed into one of the most breathtaking waterfronts in the world due to the implementation of a $300 million renovation project. The Prince George Wharf will be expanded to solve the congestion problem near the terminal area.


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The Shanghai port is famous for being the busiest in Asia; however, it also boasts the world's sixth-largest cruise terminal, capable of handling more than 1.5 million passengers annually. Located at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the port lies in the center of the 18,000-kilometer-long coastline.

The Shanghai Cruise Port houses three cruise terminals. The Wusongkou Cruise Terminal lies in Paotaiwan Bay and can easily accommodate three giant cruise ships weighing 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes. It covers more than 100 hectares of land area, including terminal buildings, offices, shopping centers, and more.

The Shanghai International Terminal, situated on the Huangpu River, has an 890-meter waterfront area and covers 42 hectares. Three passenger ships weighing around 70,000 to 80,000 tonnes can be berthed simultaneously at this terminal.

The Waigaoqiao Terminal is located in the Pudong area and can receive the world's biggest cruise liners. It has a water depth of 12.5 meters and a 990-meter-long waterfront area. The facility can accommodate four cruise ships carrying more than 5,000 passengers.

Port of Barcelona

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Barcelona is Spain's third biggest container port, handling 3.42 million TEUs in 2018. It connects the hinterland and northern Spain with the Mediterranean region and has shipping connections with the Far East, North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and the Americas. It is also Europe's principal cruise port, with numerous marinas and ferry terminals.

There are seven cruise terminals near Barcelona's La Rambla, a shopping center in the city's heart. Four terminals are located at the Adossat Quay, and the remaining three, known as the North, South, and East terminals, are near the World Trade Centre pier. Ferries between the Balearic Islands and Barcelona are received at the Saint Bertrand Terminal.

The cruise port area of Barcelona port houses clubs, bars, multiplex cinemas, and the largest aquarium in Europe. People can also book Golondrinas or small ships to tour the area.

Port of Civitavecchia

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Civitavecchia is the cruise port of Rome, the capital city of Italy. It is the second busiest passenger port in Europe and one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean region. Around 2,200 ferries and over 80 cruise ships carrying more than 2.5 million tourists are received yearly at the port. It has 15 piers divided among eight cruise terminals with their own parking spaces. Ships enter the harbor from the Adriatic Sea after passing through the Giudecca Canal.

A new cruise terminal was completed in 2018, covering 11,000 square meters of land. Costa, Royal Caribbean, and the Mediterranean Shipping Company own the Amerigo Vespucci Cruise Terminal. It contains two terminal buildings, a 500 square meter waiting area, and a cafeteria.

The city is famous for its architecture dating back to the Renaissance period. Tourists can visit the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, the Fountain of Benedict, and Fort Michelangelo, named after one of the finest Italian sculptors. The city also has a yellow sand beach just a few miles from the cruise port, perfect for sunbathing, relaxing, and swimming.

Palma de Mallorca

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The Port of Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands is a popular tourist destination, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors annually. The Balearic Islands, located in the Balearic Sea near the Iberian Peninsula, offer a blend of Mediterranean and Spanish culture, known for their beautiful landscapes, luxurious resorts, theme parks, and delicious cuisine.

Palma, the largest port among the five islands, is in the city center near the Old Town. The port features a long promenade divided into four operational areas. The commercial quays handle cargo traffic, while the Poniente wharves host famous Mediterranean regattas like the King's Cup and support recreational sailing. The marina berths accommodate cruise ships and superyachts, and the western docks are dedicated to commercial fishing.

Visitors to the Port of Palma can explore the vibrant city, indulge in shopping and dining experiences, and immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the Balearic Islands. The Old Town offers historic attractions, including impressive architecture and charming narrow streets. There are also opportunities for leisure activities, such as enjoying the sandy beaches and participating in water sports.


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Covering an area of 840 acres, the Port of Galveston is the fourth busiest passenger port in North America. Initially opened in the early 18th century as an important industrial port, it now serves as a hub for commercial and cruise shipping vessels. The port features two modern cruise terminals with a water depth of 30 feet.

The two existing cruise terminals cover 221,000 square feet and provide various amenities for passengers, including three parking areas, ATMs, a post office, a help desk, and free Wi-Fi. Additionally, a third cruise terminal is currently under construction and is expected to become operational in 2023.

Visitors can explore the surrounding area and enjoy attractions like the Texas Seaport Museum, which offers insights into the region's maritime history. Art galleries and theaters near Terminal 1 also provide cultural experiences. Moreover, the port's second terminal features an expansive food court and a shopping center for passengers to enjoy during their time at the port.

Crew Insights

Articles and experiences shared by crew members working on cruise ship. Find out more about ship life at sea together with tips and advices for first time crew members and cruise oldtimers.