24th May 2017

Porto Cruise Terminal

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Port of Leixões upcoming record year

Investments made at the Port of Leixões mainly the brand new Cruise Terminal as well as the commitment of this Port Authority in the promotion of the port worldwide is being rewarded with record numbers of cruises and visitors. End-year totals are expected to reach nearly 107 000 passengers and 105 cruise ship calls are already planned, 14 of those visiting Leixões for the first time.

This numbers express an increase of 27% in the number of cruises and 46% in the number of passengers over last year and 33% more than the best year ever for Leixões cruise activity, recorded in 2015. This growth is set to continue in upcoming years moving Leixões even further up as an Atlantic Cruise Port of excellence.

Every year new companies are choosing Leixões for their itineraries at the Atlantic Coast. Royal Caribbean International has scheduled 10 cruise ship calls for this year season and other major companies are reinforcement its operations at Leixões with new and bigger ships..

Porto Cruise Terminal '2017 Building of the year'

Porto Cruise Terminal is the largest project ever for the opening of the Port of Leixões to the city and an important gateway to Porto and North of Portugal Destination.

Situated at the south part of the Port of Leixões, nearby the city of Matosinhos and just 3Km away from the city of Porto, the new 340m pier for cruises has welcomed since April 2011 the biggest and the most glamorous cruise ships from the worldwide cruise fleet, boosting the cruise tourism in the North of Portugal Region.

Located in the Atlantic front, Porto Cruise Terminal is perfect to link up circuits of the Mediterranean and North Europe and with the growing trends towards shorter duration circuits (4 and 5 days), it’s an ideal destination for itineraries within the Atlantic Area. Served by one of the best International Airports in Europe and accessible through a number of different air routes, Porto is within easy reach of the major worldwide hubs also served by an excellent range of high quality and large capacity hotels, which makes it one of the preferred value destinations to travel to in the near future.

Porto Cruise Terminal arises from an aggregate of actions comprising a pier for cruise ships up to 320m long; a Passenger Terminal located in the central building of the complex, with several amenities for transit cruise lines or turnaround cruise vessels, with no limit capacity for passengers in transit and for 2 500 passengers in turnaround; a nautical recreational port for 170 boats; a main building with approximately 1 500m2 of floor area including the Science and Technology Park of the Sea of the University of Porto and, lastly, a public pedestrian access along the south mole linking the city of Matosinhos to the Porto Cruise Terminal.

Porto Cruise Terminal is already an icon for the region and a work of great architectural value, a masterpiece that has completely changed the entire maritime coast of the northern region of Portugal and has already won some national and international prestigious architecture awards.

Design by the Portuguese Architect Luís Pedro Silva, Porto Cruise Terminal opened in 2015 and it was planned to improve the whole cruise visitor experience. Porto Cruise Terminal is the 'Building of the Year 2017', the most prestigious international award of ArchDaily - the world's most viewed architecture website.

This 'Building of the Year 2017' award joins other recognitions given to the Port of Leixões’ Cruise Terminal such as the 'Best Port of the Year' by Seatrade Awards 2015,  the ‘AZ Awards' - a prestigious Canadian competition of worldwide contemporary architecture and design and also the 'Best Public Project' award by the Portuguese ‘Prémios Construir'.

Porto european best destination 2017

Porto, Douro and the North of Portugal Region have been internationally distinguished in recent years.

The city of Porto is the first city worldwide to be considered three times as the European Best Destination (2012, 2014 and 2017) and was also named the best emerging destination in Europe and the third worldwide. Porto was the 2015 Best Under-the-Radar Romantic Destination by USA Today and The Guardian rates it as one of the obligatory destinations to visit. It is also the only Portuguese city on the Best Value City Index 2015 ranking by Trivago.

Porto combines tradition and modernity in a cosmopolitan atmosphere, where the best wines and irresistible gastronomy can be tested. From the maritime coastline passing by the banks of the Douro River, the ride to the city center is itself a real pleasure. Afterwards, there is an entire city that warmly welcomes all cruise passengers and let’s itself discover among the most beautiful baroque and Romanesque churches, monuments, streets with mansions covered with Portuguese traditional tiles, bookstores and finally shops.

An hour distance from Porto other interesting cities and sites can be visited, such as the Historical Centre of Guimarães, European Cultural Capital 2012 and also classified World Heritage site by UNESCO, as well as Porto city and Douro Valley; the cities of Braga, Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Lima and Amarante; countless Castles, Manor Houses, Historic Hotels and Rural Guest Houses, the Douro Valley, the oldest wine region of the world, where Porto Wine is produced.

The Region comprises four World Heritage sites. For all this Porto and North Portugal is a multifarious and diversified tourist destination.

For all those reasons, the Porto Cruise Terminal clearly meets the commitment of the Port Authority in boosting cruise industry in the Northern Region of Portugal.


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