The most popular cruise ports to visit worldwide range from the warm harbors of the Mediterranean to the bustling wharves of London. The best cruise port cities were ranked by international travelers using the Visited travel app. Visited is a game-changing travel map app that allows you to check off places you’ve been, explore new bucket list destinations, and plan your dream itineraries. Whether you’re an occasional traveler or a frequent flier, the Visited app gives you an interactive travel map highlighting the places you want to travel. You can also browse dozens of top travel lists and see the top destinations other international travelers recommend using the Visited app.
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These are the top 25 cruise ports to see around the world, according to Visited users:
Barcelona, Spain, is the most popular cruise port, with millions of passengers passing through the port each year. The warm Mediterranean coastal city offers beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and picturesque city views with architectural wonders by Gaudi. The Port de Barcelona includes seven cruise terminals.
Venice, Italy, is home to the world’s second most visited cruise port. The Mediterranean city includes famed canals, gondolas, and a central port location for European cruises. The romantic city’s cruise ship piers are in several areas, with most ships docking in the Venetian Lagoon, which is connected to the Adriatic Sea. Large cruise ships dock on the mainland in Marghera, at Porto Marghera.
The third most popular cruise port is in Miami, Florida, U.S. Miami is a tropical coastal city with pristine beaches, remarkable Art Deco architecture, and a vibrant nightlife. Cruise ships dock in Miami before sailing to the Caribbean islands, the Panama Canal, and even trans-Atlantic routes to Europe. The cruise terminals in Miami offer modern amenities and layouts, with accessible parking and convenient access to some of the largest cruise lines in the world, including Disney, Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean.
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The Port of London connects the bustling English city with the rest of Europe and other parts of the world. Several piers line the River Thames within the Port of London area, with the North Sea forming a boundary for the ports. London is a top-tier city with an eclectic blend of cuisines, cultures, and iconic landmarks like Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London. Cruises departing from London often set sail to northern destinations on the North Sea, the British Isles, or other parts of Europe.
Amsterdam is a scenic city in the Netherlands with several terminals in Amsterdam Port. With picturesque canals, a strong bike-friendly culture, the famed Red Light District, and museums like the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam is the perfect place for a cruise port. Passenger Terminal Amsterdam is located in the heart of the city and offers local cruises and accommodates small- to medium-sized cruise ships. Larger cruises depart from IJmuiden Velsen Seaport, about 30 miles west of the city.
6. New York
New York City is home to the sixth most visited port in the world. The U.S. city lies on the Atlantic Coast. It is a hub for cruises around the city and in the Atlantic Ocean all the way up to Canada and down to the Caribbean islands. As the most populous U.S. city, NYC offers endless entertainment and dining options, lots of shopping options, iconic skyscrapers, and world-class art and history museums.
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Naples, Italy, is next on the list, ranking as the seventh most visited cruise port city. Naples offers a rich history, warm climate, picturesque hillside views, and delicious pizza (it is the birthplace of pizza). The city is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes bucketlist sites like the Castel dell’Ovo palace overlooking the Bay of Naples, Piazza del Plebiscito public square, and the underground Catacombs of San Gennaro. Cruise ships dock at the Port of Naples Stazione Marittima, the cruise terminal for Naples, which is part of the Port of Naples.
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Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a popular Atlantic port city in Europe that serves up stunning beaches, a warm climate, and beautiful pastel-colored buildings. The scenic city includes the Port of Lisbon, which has cruises departing to over 100 destinations, ranging from Southern European cities like Barcelona and Athens to Northern European cities and as far as the Caribbean islands.
Copenhagen, Denmark, is the ninth most visited port city. The Danish capital has scenic parks and gardens, historic castles, museums, lively nightlife, and a wide range of restaurants. The Port of Copenhagen is one of the largest ports along the Baltic Sea. Cruise ships depart from Copenhagen and sail to nearby destinations like Amsterdam or farther locales like Dubai.
The tenth most popular port city is Cozumel, Mexico. Cozumel is the perfect place to dock, with pristine beaches, world-class scuba diving and snorkeling along the Mesoamerican reef system, vibrant beach clubs, and ancient Mayan ruins to explore. The main cruise terminals in Cozumel include the International Cruise Terminal Cozumel, Puerta Maya Cruise Ship Maritime Terminal, and Cozumel Cruise Terminal (Punta Langosta). Cozumel offers a gateway to the Caribbean, with cruises to the Bahamas, Jamaica, and more.
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Nassau is a top choice for tropical cruises. Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas, is a premier snorkeling and diving destination and cruise ship port. The Bahamas offers relaxing white sandy beaches, balmy Caribbean temperatures, and world-class dining. The two main cruise ports in the Bahamas are Nassau Bahamas Cruise Terminal and Prince George Wharf.
12. Los Angeles
Los Angeles is one of the most popular U.S. port cities. The southern California city sits on the Pacific Ocean and includes iconic beaches. The City of Angels is home to the movie industry and includes tourist destinations like the Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Cruises from Los Angeles go to destinations ranging from the scenic coast of California to tropical getaways in Panama, Mexico, and Hawaii.
13. Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the 13th most visited port in the world. The U.S. city is in South Florida and includes beautiful beaches, boating canals, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. The city’s cruise port, Port Everglades, is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, with ships departing for islands in the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, and across the Atlantic to Europe.
Stockholm, Sweden, is built on 14 islands with over 30,000 nearby isles in the Stockholm Archipelago, offering picturesque scenery all around. The waterfront northern city includes Stadsgården cruise port, located in the city center, which offers docking for small to medium ships. Larger cruise vessels use Frihamnen, a modern port about 30 minutes from the city center.
Santorini, Greece, is a breathtaking island in the Aegean Sea in southern Europe. The city was formed by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century B.C., giving it a distinct, rocky landscape. The whitewashed houses towering on cliffs by the sea mesmerize tourists. The island is home to Athinios Port, a modern, high-capacity port, and Skala (Old Port of Fira), a picturesque, smaller port below Fira.
The 16th most visited port city is Dubrovnik, located in southern Croatia. The city on the Adriatic Sea has a historic Old Town with winding alleyways, charming squares, and imposing stone walls from Medieval times. Dubrovnik makes a scenic stop for any cruise, with sweeping views of the turquoise Adriatic Sea and terracotta rooftops cascading down to the harbor. Gruž Port, also known as the Cargo Port, is Dubrovik’s cruise ship center, with vessels setting sail to destinations as close as Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and as far as Italy, Spain, and France.
Southern France is home to Marseille, a city rich in charm and shipping history. The Mediterranean destination includes relaxing beaches and historic landmarks like Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, a Romanesque-Byzantine church. Marseille’s Old Port (Vieux Port) is in the bustling city center. It includes colorful fishing boats, bustling cafes, and picturesque architecture. Large cruise ships dock at Marseille-Fos Port, a modern port complex about 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest of the city center.
Istanbul, the cultural center of Turkey, is at the crossroads between the East and West, offering a unique blend of cultures, landmarks, and cuisines. The city includes Ottoman-era mosques like the Hagia Sophia and Suleymaniye Mosque, Byzantine treasures in the Topkapi Palace, and bustling street bazaars. Istanbul has two main cruise ports, the modern Kabataş Port and the Galataport, used by smaller vessels.
19. Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is a beautiful city along the French Riviera that is part of Monaco. The city has something for everyone, with plenty of luxury beach clubs and yachts, the Casino de Monte Carlo, the Prince’s Palace, pristine beaches, five-star restaurants, and the Monaco Grand Prix race track. Cruise ships departing from Hercule Harbor in Monaco explore the French Riviera or the balmy Mediterranean coast.
Palma is the 20th most popular port destination in the world. The Spanish resort city is on the island of Mallorca (Majorca) in the Mediterranean Sea. It features clean, white sandy beaches and sparkling waters. The warm getaway destination includes a medieval Old Town, the historic food market Mercat de Santa Catalina, and ancient Roman ruins. Estació Maritima is Palma’s largest and busiest cruise terminal. Dique del Oeste is further west of the city and accommodates the largest ships.
Civitavecchia is an ancient coastal town in Italy, 70 kilometers (43 miles) northwest of Rome. The Port of Civitavecchia was built in the 2nd century and still retains some historic structures, like the Roman Dock. Civitavecchia is one of the busiest cruise ports in the Mediterranean, with over 2 million passengers passing through each year. Visitors can choose from local cruises along the Italian coast and longer adventures into the Mediterranean.
Dubai is a world-class luxury travel destination in the United Arab Emirates. The desert city has something for everyone: skyscrapers, the opulent Dubai Mall, Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury hotels, and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Dubai includes two main cruise ports, Port Rashid and Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, which opened in 2020 to accommodate mega-ships and VIP luxury experiences.
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Mykonos, the “Island of the Winds,” is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It attracts visitors to its white sandy beaches, beautiful architecture with whitewashed houses, and delectable dining options. The island’s main cruise port, Tourlos, also called the “new port,” is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) north of the main town, Mykonos Town. Cruises from Tourlos set sail for close locations within the Cyclades islands area or further into the Aegean or through the Eastern Mediterranean.
24. St. Thomas
St. Thomas is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean that offers bountiful natural beauty and two main cruise ports. The island includes pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, lush rainforests, and plenty of outdoor activities. Havensight Cruise Ship Dock accommodates large cruise vessels and popular cruise lines like Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean. Crown Bay is a less expansive port that accommodates smaller cruise ships.
The capital of Finland, Helsinki, entices tourists with distinct and innovative art and architecture, scenic forests, and a bustling coastline with stunning waterfront views. Helsinki sits on a peninsula at the head of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea, and offers two main cruise ship ports, West Harbor and South Harbor.
Plan Your Next Getaway
Want to learn more about the top port cities or other places on your bucket list? Check out Lonely Planet Travel books for in-depth travel guides with valuable insights from locals. To browse more top vacation destinations, get your own personalized travel map, and plan your dream trip, download the Visited app for free on iOS and Android.