Lisbon Cruise Port is enjoying another year of record-breaking passenger traffic. Officials have announced that 2023 was its strongest year yet with 758,000 passengers.
Lisbon Sees Cruise Traffic Explode Again
Lisbon Cruise Port saw its passenger traffic grow 33% from 2019 to 2023, with 347 calls from ocean vessels and river boats.
Of the 347 cruise ship visits made to Lisbon, 130 – or 40% – were turnaround calls, a sign that more cruise lines are placing trust in the port as the embarkation or disembarkation point for sailings.
Among the cruise lines serving Lisbon are Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, Holland America Line, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Virgin Voyages and P&O Cruises. River boats also frequent Lisbon, where they sail the Douro River. Those vessels are operated by Viking Cruises, Uniworld River Cruises, and AmaWaterways River Cruise Line.
Lisbon Cruise Port hit a record high in passenger traffic the previous year as well. In 2022, Lisbon reported 103 turnaround cruise calls and 88,292 passengers.
City’s Appeal Leads to Another World Travel Award
Located on the Tagus River, the port of Lisbon features four cruise terminals. Terminals 3 and 4 – the Jardim do Tabaco and Santa Apólonia terminals – compose the Lisbon Cruise Port.
The facility includes three floors and nearly 150,000 square feet of terminal facilities. For arriving and departing guests, more than 37,000 square feet is available for received luggage, and 22,000 square feet is set aside for check-in and boarding operations.
Guests at Lisbon Cruise Port can enjoy duty-free shopping, post offices, a waiting room, VIP lounge, and access to taxis, panoramic buses, the subway and train service.
Cruises from Lison typically visit ports of call along the southern coastline of Spain, France, the Azores, the Canary Islands, and more.
Lisbon’s position as one of the most westward ports of Europe also makes it an ideal location for cruises between Europe, North America, and South America. Celebrity Cruises departs Lisbon for repositioning cruises across the Atlantic with sailings from Portugal to Florida’s Port Canaveral and Argentia’s Buenos Aires on Celebrity Equinox.
Oceania Cruises offers a 12-night transatlantic sailing from Lisbon to Miami aboard Marina. NCL offers a 17-night sailing from Lisbon to Buenos Aires aboard Norwegian Star. Shorter journeys include 4-night and 6-night sailings from Lisbon to Civitavecchia (Rome) aboard MSC Divina.
January is one of the slower months of the year for Lisbon. For 2024, 10 ship visits are scheduled for January, including vessels from P&O Cruises, Cunard Line, TUI Cruises, and MSC Cruises.
It will be interesting to see how Lisbon performs in 2024. A new tourist tax begins in January 2024. Similar to traditional “port taxes and fees” for other cruise ports, cruise visitors will be required to pay a €2 (approximately $2.20 USD) fee. Cruise ship operators will likely collect the fees for their passengers, which is projected to raise €1.2 million ($1.32 million USD) annually.
Lisbon’s History Helps Attract Cruise Guests
For guests extending their stays in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, it is good to know that it’s the country’s largest city with a population of about 550,000.
Lisbon is also one of the oldest cities in the world, with its settlement occurring around 1200 BCE. Popular legend suggests Lisbon was founded by the mythical Ulysses. Later, the Roman Empire would occupy and rule the country for 700 years.
Among the tourist attractions are walking tours of Lisbon’s pastel-colored buildings, visits to the Carmo Convent gothic ruins, high-end shopping at the Avenida da Liberdade, and late nights of eating and dancing in the city’s Bairro Alto district.