Portimão cruise ship numbers down – no start date for quayside expansion
With government pledges floating in the waters of political duplicity, an improved cruise ship terminal and deeper harbour conditions in Portimão remain on the drawing board.
Fewer cruise ships docked in Portimão last year but those that did were larger, carrying more passengers – a 23% increase in numbers.
Representatives from Portimão port will be back at the Seatrade Cruise Global event in Miami this April, to repeat the same tired old story to an increasingly sceptical audience, that the expansion work will go ahead “soon,”
Despite a booming market for cruises, the Algarve port received just 66 ships last year, five fewer than in 2017, twelve of them from the reopened Portimão to Madeira route.
The Sines Port Authority, which continues to control the Algarve’s ports despite government pledges for a return to regional autonomy, noted that since it took over the management of the Ports of Faro and Portimão in 2014, “we have witnessed a growth of 151% in the number of passengers received, in what is the only cruise terminal in the Algarve.”
This feeble statement of course makes no reference to the poor attitude from Sines towards investment in the Algarve and to the States’ diversion of investment to Lisbon where a new reception centre has been built and business is booming .
The management in Sines stated that, “It is also important to highlight the important work that has been developed by the economic and tourism agents of the region, concerning the promotion of the city of Portimão and the Algarve brand, renowned internationally,” while it avoided making a statement on the essential renovation and upgrade work needed to enable larger ships to dock and to enable the city to take advantage of the flow of disembarking passengers.