The San Juan cruise ship port has made it into an elite group of 16 such facilities around the world that welcomed more than a million passengers last year, rubbing shoulders with major U.S. mainland and European cities.
San Juan tied with the Bahamas with 1.2 million passengers,
According to the 2012 Cruise Industry News Annual Report, three Florida destinations topped the list of the busiest ports, with Miami keeping its stronghold on the industry with more than 4 million passengers in 2011, slightly ahead of Port Everglades with 3.9 million. Port Canaveral reported 3.1 million.
In Europe, Civitavecchia, Italy and Barcelona, Spain share fourth place on a global scale, reporting approximately 2.6 million passengers each, the New York-based trade group said Thursday.
Next, in order of traffic level are Cozumel with 2.3 million passengers, St. Thomas with 1.9 million; Venice and St. Maarten with approximately 1.7 million each; followed by Palma de Mallorca and Southampton with approximately 1.4 million each; Jamaica and Naples, 1.3 million each.
The ranking showed that San Juan edged out New York’s Manhattan and Red Hook ports, which registered a combined passenger traffic of 1.2 million.
The Asian ports of Hong Kong and Penang also reported more than one million passengers, but these include a large number of cruises to nowhere, gaming cruises and one-day cruises.
The ranking comes just a few weeks after several local news outlets reported that cruise ship companies are no longer considering Puerto Rico as a homeport facility, representing potential losses of $27 million for the island.