Pending the end of 2017, the milestones set to date suggest that this will be a very good year for cruise ship tourism in Spain. If in Spain as a whole the growth rate of this type of tourism is very positive, with almost 8.7 million cruise ship passengers in 2016, everything suggests that this figure will be far exceeded by the end of this year. And in Galicia the rate of growth is even higher than the national average. In particular, up to October Galician ports had captured 318,326 tourists, 10 % more than in the same period last year, while overall growth stood at 2.58 %.
One of the reasons for this generalised growth is probably the democratisation of this type of tourism. In the Galician case, this increase has translated into the arrival of the first cruise to Marín, for example. But Coruña is the port that has captured 51% of cruise ships that have set foot on Galician soil: 161,612 people who got off 109 ships while in Vigo, the second port in 2017, down to October 135,294 passengers – 17% less than in the same period of 2016. A figure that is at the lowest point of its capture of cruisers, which in 2011 marked the peak with the arrival of 253,637 to the Vigo maritime station.
Among the causes of this decline, the president of the Port of Vigo, Enrique Veiga, establishes the price of fuels that two years ago, when planning the trips, was shot, which advised the shipping companies to shorten the trips and call at nearby ports (A Coruña and Ferrol, therefore).
In fact, Ferrol is another port that has seen the number of cruise ships fall, not cruisers, although the objectives set by the port authority have been met. Vilagarcía is also doing well this year. At this point it has already received twice as many cruises as last year and has also doubled the number of tourists who landed at its port, and if the industry’s calculations are taken into account, which put the cost of a cruise ship at 70 euros – twice as much if it is a start port – the community would receive more than 22 million euros. However, in 2017 Galicia will not reach its record for cruise liners in 2012, when it surpassed 400,000 cruise tourists.
However, all ports are convinced of the importance of this type of cruise ship and are therefore working to attract new stopovers for the coming years through their participation in specialized fairs such as the Seatrade Cruise in Miami and the Seatrade in Hamburg.