There arguably isn’t a better vacation experience than the luxury of traveling via cruise ship. Cruise ships offer an unbeatable value proposition, as their all-inclusive nature provides everything a traveler can ask for. Unsurprisingly, cruises are as popular as ever these days. If you’ve ever wondered what the busiest cruise ports in the world are, it’s your lucky day: here are the top ten.
1. Port Canaveral
Boasting over four million passengers in 2022, Port Canaveral is the busiest cruise port in the world. If you want to embark on an open-seas adventure as an American, you will most likely embark from Florida. All of the big players in the cruise world are involved in Port Canaveral, including Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Norweigan.
2. Port of Miami
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Miami’s reputation as the party capital of the United States catapults them to second place on this list, thanks to over four million passengers traveling through their port in 2022. I can’t think of a better way to kickstart an unforgettable vacation than living it up in South Beach for a few nights and then boarding a gigantic cruise ship for the rest of the week. Can you?
3. Port Everglades
By now, you’ve undoubtedly realized that Florida is countless cruise companies’ de facto home base! In 2022, 55 cruise ships called Florida home due to the state’s proximity to vacation destinations like the Caribbean, Mexico, and even Europe. Port Everglades boasted over 3.8 million passengers in 2022. Think about it: between the ports of Canaveral, Miami, and Everglades, nearly 12 million people embark on cruises yearly.
4. Port of Cozumel
If you’ve ever visited Mexico’s Riviera Maya, chances are you’ve arrived and departed from the Port of Cozumel. The port is Mexico’s busiest by a large margin, greeting over 3.6 million guests annually. Located on the Mexican Gulf Coast, traveling to the Port of Cozumel means one thing for countless cruisegoers: plenty of tequila drinking is about to transpire.
5. Port of Nassau
The Bahamas is one of Earth’s most naturally beautiful places and one of the most popular cruise destinations. Boasting over 3.5 million passengers annually, the Port of Nassau is the gateway to the Bahamas. Whether visiting the legendary Atlantis resort or just stopping by for a few hours to get some much-needed time off your cruise ship, odds are your gorgeous surroundings will blow you away.
6. Port of Shanghai
As the most populous nation in the world, it isn’t surprising that China is home to one of the busiest cruise ports. The Port of Shanghai welcomes a little less than three million passengers annually, but it also boasts another recognition: it is one of the busiest cargo ports. Between vacationers and cargo, visitors to this port are routinely blown away by the larger-than-life sizes of the ships docked there.
7. Port of Barcelona
Serving over 2.7 million passengers annually, the Port of Barcelona is Spain’s tourism crown jewel. Forget about the massive cruise ships frequently coming and going; there is so much more to the Port of Barcelona than just cruising. The port is an entertainment hub for most of Spain; from its IMAX movie theaters, malls, and Europe’s largest aquarium, embarking on a cruise from Barcelona is an adventure. It’s why most people embark out of Barcelona when exploring the Mediterranean; I don’t blame them!
8. Ports of Out Islands
When a country enjoys as much tourism as the Bahamas, common sense says you need more than one port to accommodate that many passengers. While the Ports of Out Islands don’t welcome as many people as Nassau, the raw numbers are nevertheless impressive. In 2022, over 2.5 million passengers arrived in the Bahamas via the Out Islands. While most of the islands are uninhabited, Nassau is a quick ferry, boat, or plane ride away.
9. Port of Galveston
Florida isn’t the only American state that has a bustling cruise port: Port of Galveston, in Texas, welcomes over 2.2 million passengers per year. While most cruises are relatively short affairs that link Texas to the Riviera Maya (and disembark at the Port of Cozumel), that doesn’t mean the cruises are any less exciting. For countless Texans, any trip to Mexico means unforgettable memories are about to be made.
10. Port of Civitavecchia
Located in Rome, Italy, the Port of Civitavecchia sees over 2.2 million passengers annually. The port is incredibly popular with European cruise lovers due to its proximity to places like Spain and France. If you want to experience the best European cruises, you’ll most likely be leaving from the Port of Civitavecchia. Trust me: There’s nothing like experiencing Europe via a luxurious cruise ship!
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