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Despite what you might have read in 2019, there is no cruise ban in place in Venice. Even more cruise ships are scheduled to arrive in the coastal city than last year. Cruise ship traffic to Venice will increase by 18 percent as we showed earlier in our overview of Europe’s busiest cruise ports. In total, 1.23 million cruise ship passengers are bound to come to Venice in 2020. With so many arriving passengers, Venice is ranked as Europe’s 7th busiest cruise port and number 22 in the world. In total, 56 different cruise ships are scheduled to arrive in Venice for a total of 514 times. On average, 1.4 cruise ships will bring an average of 3360 passengers each single day.

  • Cruise ships are scheduled to arrive each month
  • Most passengers arrive on Sundays
  • Weekend days are 342 percent more busy than week days
  • June 14 is the busiest day of the year with 18,304 passengers
  • One ship, Costa Deliziosa, brings over 100,000 passengers to Venice in 2020

In this blog, we will analyze all cruise ships scheduled to arrive in Venice, Italy 2020. We are limiting our analysis to larger cruise ships that are carrying 500 passengers or more. Our analysis looks at arrivals per month and largest arriving cruise ships as well as the spread over the days of the week. Similar to last year, our analysis shows that cruise ship arrivals are not evenly spread over the week, adding extra pressure on weekends when day trippers already make the city extremely crowded.

Venice monthly cruise ship arrivals

Cruise ships arrive in Venice each month of the year. The slowest month of the year is January when only one ship is scheduled to arrive in the city. February is equally slow with only 4 cruise ship arrivals. The true cruise season, with 87 percent of all cruise ship arrivals, starts in May and lasts until October.

In peak season, the average number of daily cruise passengers jumps to 2.45 ships per day or 5,711 passengers on average per day. The busiest month of the year is October when 36 different cruise ships are scheduled to arrive 84 times, bringing a total of 191,000 cruise passengers to Venice in one month.

The chart above clearly shows that Venice’s cruise season starts in May and ends in October. Outside these months there is only limited cruise ship traffic. All peak months are very busy but as we will explore below, cruise ship arrivals are not evenly spread through the week in peak season. Some days are busier than others.

Cruise arrivals in Venice mostly during the weekends

Almost 64 percent of all cruise passengers arriving in Venice will do so during weekends. On weekend days an average of 7,362 cruise passengers are scheduled to arrive whereas on regular week days ‘only’ an average of 1,663 cruise passengers will be brought to Venice. That means that that during the weekend the average number of arriving passengers increases a crazy 342 percent.

The average number of cruise ship passengers has been calculated by dividing the total number of passengers on each day by 52 weeks. In total, 88 percent of all cruise ship passengers arrive between Friday and Monday. With only 12 percent of all passengers arriving between Tuesday to Thursday. In peak season this trend does not change. As a result, Venice is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world if we solely look at arrivals during the weekends. We extensively researched this effect last year.

Venice busiest cruise days

The overview below shows the 15 busiest days of the year in Venice’s cruise port. June 14 is set to become the busiest day of the year with a total of 8 cruise ships carrying 18,304 cruise passengers.

NumberDateNumber of shipsSum of passengers

Largest cruise ships traveling to Venice

Below is an overview of the largest cruise ships scheduled to arrive in Venice in 2020. The three biggest ships to dock in Venice are all operated by the Italian cruise liner MSC. The ships below are ranked based on the capacity of the ship. Meanwhile, the ship bringing most cruise ship passengers to Venice this year is the Costa Deliziosa.

NumberNameMax. PassengersVenice arrivalsSum of cruise passengers
1MSC Orchestra30602576500
2MSC Musica30602885680
3MSC Magnifica30173090510
4Norwegian Jade288212882
5Norwegian Dawn28082673008
6Costa Deliziosa271237100344
7Costa Luminosa27123492208
8Marella Explorer26811334853
9Celebrity Infinity2604615624
10Jewel Of The Seas257325146
11MSC Opera25702564250
12Celebrity Constellation25561128116
13Carnival Legend2549512745
14Costa Mediterranea2537717759
15ms Nieuw Amsterdam25271845486


Since it is just as important to know where the numbers come from as it is to look at the results, we want to give you insight in how we calculated the above statistics. For the first time this year, we collected all itineraries of cruise ships traveling to Europe in 2020. This data comes from websites where cruises are promoted. We then added the maximum number of cruise passengers to each arriving cruise ship so we can calculate the busiest cruise ports in Europe in 2020. Because we did the same analysis last year we are able to compare the cruise ports. Most of these cruise itineraries are fixed and will not change.

Our numbers are the sum of the maximum passenger capacity of each cruise ship each time that a ship arrives in port. We exclude all ships with less than 500 passengers. We also do not take crew members into consideration. As a result, our numbers might differentiate from official port authority numbers. If crew members are also taken into consideration, the numbers would be substantially higher.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that displayed data is based on our own research. All data in this blog are estimates and we cannot guarantee that they are correct. None of our numbers represent official port authority numbers and might differentiate substantially from any official publication.

For official numbers please contact port authorities.

In case a ship stays in port overnight, we take the passenger numbers for multiple days into consideration because the passengers usually leave their ship to go one shore (excursions). We are aware arrivals and departures will have an even bigger effect on crowds in a destination (people leaving and boarding the ships). However, we cannot estimate if the entire ship disembarks. Therefore, we only take the maximum capacity of a ship on any given day into consideration. For those destinations where people usually embark and disembark, such as Venice, Barcelona or Civitavecchia, crowds will be bigger than in other ports. Keep an eye on official cruise port websites for accurate information (eg. Barcelona).

Some new cruise itineraries will be announced later this year and some will be altered due to various reasons. Last year for example all ships planning on going to Amsterdam had to be changed. After the city introduced a cruise tax, many of those ships were diverted to IJmuiden and Rotterdam. This year it’s difficult to distinguish between cruise ships going to Amsterdam or to IJmuiden. Because they are so close to each other we consider them as one port, unless a cruise line specifically adds IJmuiden to its itinerary without mentioning Amsterdam. We will review our data on several occasions throughout the year. That means this overview be subject to some small changes throughout the year.

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