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In the autumn edition of the Dream World Cruise Destinations magazine, there is a list of the 50 most visited world ports, and Dubrovnik is in tenth place according to the number of transit passengers on a cruise.

In terms of Mediterranean ports only Naples and Livorno have more visitors than Dubrovnik. The fact that five of the top ten world most visited embarkation ports are from the Mediterranean (Barcelona, Civitavecchia, Piraeus, Venice and Palma), is also very important and it confirms the extent to which cruise tourism is significant for this area.

In addition, 790 foreign cruise ships were registered as having sailed in the Adriatic Sea in the period from January to December this year, 33.4% more than during the same months of the previous year, while an increase of 38.2% was recorded among the passengers on those ships, with more than 890 000 passengers within the ten months.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the foreign cruise ships and their passengers have spent 1527 days on the Adriatic Sea within a ten-month period, which is 63.5% more than during the same period of the previous year. They spent an average of two days in Croatia. Most foreign cruise ships visited the area of the County of Dubrovnik-Neretva. The ports in this county recorded the highest number of such visits and especially Dubrovnik in which 642 ships arrived.

Cruise tourism entered the world stage relatively late in comparison to other forms of tourism. The first ship, the Oceanic, was built for cruises only around North America and it was launched in 1945 for the Home Lines Company. Some chroniclers consider it to be the beginning of modern cruise trips. Others claim that everything began on 19 December 1966 when the Norwegian Caribbean Line became the first company to offer a year-round schedule of cruise trips on the Sunward ships, which were intended for the wider market.

A cruiser is actually a floating hotel transferring passengers from one place to another, i.e. from one port to another, and with regards to the large ships, due to their diverse offer, they also have the characteristics of a destination in motion (mobile or floating resort). This is the reason why such ships are considered a primary tourist destination and all the destinations visited on the way are considered secondary. From the ports’ point of view, i.e. from the destinations’ point of view, the passengers on such ships are one-day visitors, even if the ship stays in the port for several days, if the overnight stay is on the ship.

Croatia has been included on the international cruise destinations list with around twenty destinations along the coast and on the islands. In accordance with the increase of the number of cruise trips and passengers going on such holidays both in the world and in the Mediterranean, Croatia also recorded a significant increase of foreign cruise ships. This increase is particularly noticeable in the number of passengers on such ships, which has more than doubled over the last four years. The cruise ships usually visit those ports and towns on our coast that have the conditions necessary for them to dock and which are also very attractive to the visitors, and the first on this list are Dubrovnik, Split, Korčula and Zadar.

Relevant links

Port of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Tourist board

Central Bureau of Statistics