Leixoes Port: A Record-Breaking 2023

2023 proved to be the most challenging year for the Cruise Terminal at Porto in terms of cruise activity. Indeed, in 2023, the Cruise Terminal at Porto (Leixoes Port), the largest artificial port in Portugal situated at the mouth of the Rio Leça in the municipality of Matosinhos, welcomed 116 cruise ship calls, including 14 from new ships to the port. These calls brought a total of 148,889 passengers to the Porto and Northern Portugal region, making it the busiest year on record for the destination. Additionally, the port also hosted 4 turnaround calls.

These numbers reflect a 37% growth in passenger numbers compared to the previous year and a 27% increase over 2018, which had been the best year to date in terms of numbers.

The passengers visiting the Porto cruise terminal and the region in 2023 primarily came from the United Kingdom (44.1%), the United States (23.2%), Germany (17.9%), Canada (5%), and Australia (1.6%).

Furthermore, the size of the visiting ships is on the rise. The Gross Tonnage (GT) numbers reached 6.9 million, a 12% increase from the previous year. The average length of the ships was 224 meters compared to the 219 meters recorded the previous year.

Cruise activity on the Atlantic coast continues to vary by season, and as in previous years, the strongest months for port activity were May with 27,373 passengers, September with 24,932 passengers, and October with 29,219 passengers. October once again emerged as the best month of the year and, in this case, the best month ever in terms of passenger numbers.

In conclusion, 2023 was the best year ever for cruise activity at the Porto Cruise Terminal, and all those contributing to its growth take pride in witnessing Leixoes Port becoming increasingly the preferred choice for cruise companies and cruise enthusiasts worldwide. It continues to grow sustainably, making a significant impact on tourism in the Porto and Northern Portugal region.

Stay tuned for further news, updates, and reviews on the world of cruises on Cruising Journal, featuring photos, videos, and cruise offers.

Giorgia Lombardo