Ponta Delgada, the capital city of the Azores, has become a port of destination for the many cruise ships crossing the Atlantic between Europe and the Americas.
In May alone, 14 cruise ships were scheduled to stop at Portas do Mar, the new 250 meters long marina, inaugurated in 2008, with a docking capacity of 440 recreational boats.
On May 14, Ponta Delgada hosted 10,000 tourists, on a single day from three major visiting cruise ships:
The “Celebrity Constellation,” 964 feet long, with 2,449 passengers and a crew of 1,001; the “Crown Princess” 951 feet long, 3,114 passengers and a crew of 1,163; and the “Norwegian Epic”1,081 feet long, with 4,200 passengers and a crew of 1,500.
Between passengers and crew a total of 13,147 guests spent the day visiting the city. Azorean authorities in Ponta Delgada organized special events for that day aimed at welcoming the visitors and promoting the region.
About 108 cruise ships were scheduled to visit Ponta Delgada in 2011, bringing an estimated 90,000 visitors. Besides consumer taxes, each tourist deboarding a crusie ship in Ponta Delgada is required to pay a 3-euro visitor fee representing an estimated additional 270,000-euro in revenue for the 2011 Ponta Delgada’s municipal budget.
Ponta Delgada city has a population estimated at about 64.000. The population of the Azores is estimated at about 250,000.
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