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The number of cruise passengers who entered Portuguese ports in 2017 increased five percent over the previous year to 1.3 million and the number of stopovers increased by 10 percentage points and set a new record of 947.

According to figures from the Port of Lisbon, port administrations expect a new record to be reached in 2018.

The ports of Leixões, Lisbon, Setúbal, Portimão, the Azores and Madeira are attending Seatrade Cruise Global, the world’s largest cruise event that runs until Thursday in the United States, under the brand Cruise Portugal - APP, Portos de Portugal.

The results for 2017 show, according to the document, that Lisbon leads the year as the port with most stopovers, registering movement of 330 cruise ships.

Madeira (Funchal and Porto Santo), in turn, is the leader by the number of passengers.

The Azores recorded a “significant” increase in the number of ships stopping over (26 percent), from 121 to 152, with the number of passengers increasing from 125,904 in 2016 to 135,783 in 2017.

The port of Leixões recorded 100 stopovers, compared to 84 in 2016, reaching 95,562 passengers (33 percent more than in the previous year).

Portimão went from 43 to 71 stopovers and from 19,520 to 29,859 passengers, registering the highest increases (65 percent and 53 percent, respectively) among Portuguese ports.

The document further notes that the port of Viana do Castelo once again saw just one cruise ship stopover in 2017 and that the port of Porto Santo had a total of four ships.

“All the port authorities saw an increase in the number of passengers embarked and disembarked in their figures for 2017. It is also worth noting that Lisbon stands out in the inter-porting and turnaround market, with an increase of 73 stopovers of vessels registered in 2016, to 82 in 2017,” it said.