Nassau and Lisbon Shatter Cruise Traffic Records in 2023

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Two major ports on both sides of the Atlantic celebrate record cruise traffic numbers for 2023. Both Nassau, Bahamas, and the Port of Lisbon in Portugal posted records for passengers last year, and both cited port upgrades and expanded passenger facilities as significant factors in their success.

Carnival Legend, Carnival Liberty, Disney Dream in a port in Nassau
Carnival Legend, Carnival Liberty, Disney Dream in a port in Nassau

Nassau Welcomed Nearly 4.5 Million Cruise Guests

In 2023, Nassau Cruise Port welcomed almost 4.5 million cruisers, up 14% on the previous high set in 2019 before the pandemic. Nassau completed a $300 million port refurbishment last year comprising a new terminal building and a sixth berth.

It now has a capacity for up to 30,000 cruise ship guests daily. There was a total of 1,210 ship calls to Nassau in 2023.

Lisbon Cruise Traffic Up by One-Third

In Western Europe, Lisbon enjoyed an equally memorable 2023 with a record-high 758,000 cruise passengers. This is a massive 33% increase on 2019 pre-pandemic levels. The port handled 347 cruise calls during the year.

lisbon cruise port
The cruise port of Lisbon.

Located on the Tagus River, Lisbon Cruise Port has four terminals, transportation to the city, and tax-free shopping. Lisbon also attracts river cruise vessels on Douro River itineraries.

New D.R. Cruise Port Welcomes First Ship

Meanwhile, this week saw the official opening of the Caribbean’s newest cruise port. The Port of Cabo Rojo in Pedernales, Dominican Republic, welcomed its first ship – Norwegian Pearl.

Norwegian Pearl Cabo Rojo
Norwegian Pearl Arrives at Cabo Rojo (Image via Instagram/@sigmundfreundm)

A few days prior, the port was inaugurated by D.R. President Luis Abinader and Dominican Port Authority director Jean Luis Rodríguez. The first phase features a 200-meter dock and mooring knot. It can handle multiple ships simultaneously.

When all phases are fully operational, the Dominican Port Authority expects Cabo Rojo to welcome up to one million cruise passengers per year.

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