Lisbon Cruise Port, a growing cruise destination on Europe’s western edge, had a record turnaround day and accommodated a high volume of cruise passengers.
It’s an achievement that buoys the port’s reputation as a premier cruise facility. Two vessels, including one mega-ship, debarked and embarked guests, while another paid a port call visit.
Port Celebrates Its Streamlined Operations
Lisbon is widely known among cruisers as a port call on transatlantic voyages and is frequently included on Western Mediterranean sailings as well, but on August 17, 2023, the Lisbon Cruise Port showed off its abilities for handling streamlined turnaround operations.
The port welcomed Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Getaway, a 145,655-gross ton Breakaway-class ship that disembarked roughly 4,500 guests in Lisbon and then boarded about the same number for her next voyage, a 10-night cruise to Rome.
Port calls on the sailing are planned for Cadiz, Malaga, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, and Barcelona, Spain; Marseille and Cannes, France; and Livorno and Naples, Italy.
At the same time, Tui Cruises’ Mein Schiff 1, carrying 3,000 guests, made a transit call at the port, enabling her guests to debark and explore the city of Lisbon. And a smaller ship, the 120-guest SH Diana, operated by Swan Hellenic, also debarked guests and then embarked passengers for her next sailing.
The small, luxury ship is sailing Western and Eastern Mediterranean cruises until October, when she will begin sailing Middle East, Africa, and Indian Ocean cruises. Mein Schiff 1 is operating Western Mediterranean and Northern Europe cruises this season.
The seamless operations at the port are attributed to its wide range of services and amenities, including efficient customs and immigration procedures, and comprehensive passenger assistance by port officials and employees. The smooth and efficient handling of the turnaround highlights the port’s dedication to providing world-class services.
“We are thrilled to have achieved this significant milestone in the maritime world. The simultaneous operations of these magnificent vessels highlight our commitment to providing unparalleled services to both cruise lines and passengers,” said Duarte Cabral, General Manager of Lisbon Cruise Port.
“Our dedicated team’s hard work and meticulous planning have once again showcased Lisbon Cruise Port as a leader in the industry,” added Cabral.
Officials See 2023 as Banner Year
The presence of the three vessels made for a particularly bustling day at the port, which is managed by Global Ports Holding. Lisbon Cruise Port in 2021 was named by the World Travel Awards as Europe’s Leading Cruise Port for the seventh time, and for six consecutive years.
Port officials early this year said the facility expects to welcome about 650,000 cruise guests in 2023, and see an increase in turnaround passengers of 95%.
In fact, the year got off to a rousing start at Lisbon Cruise Port, when P&O Cruises’ Arvia, an Excel-class ship that accommodates 5,200 guests, called at Lisbon during the tail-end of her maiden voyage.
According to the port of Lisbon, 2022 also was a great year, exceeding the port’s cruise volume of pre-pandemic 2019. The port in 2022 recorded 327 cruise ship calls, bringing 492,438 passengers to the city.
It reflected growth of 5.5% compared to the 310 calls made in 2019. Of those 327 ships, 103 calls included embarkations or disembarkations.
Cruise-related revenue in 2022 amounted to about €17 million of direct economic impact in the Lisbon region, the port estimated.