Most passengers choose Italy to start their cruise in Europe, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
In 2015, a vast majority (70 percent) of passengers started their cruise in three Member States. One in three did so in Italy (2.2 million passengers, or 35 percent of EU total), one in five in Spain (1.2 million passengers, or 19 percent) and one in six in the United Kingdom (almost 1 million passengers, or 16 percent). These three Member States were followed at a distance by Germany (0.6 million passengers), France (0.5 million passengers), Belgium and Greece (both about 0.2 million passengers).
Moreover, Eurostat said that Southampton in the UK was the main EU port for cruise passengers with 829,000 passengers recorded in 2015, ahead of Barcelona in Spain (685,000 passengers) and Venice in Italy (657,000 passengers).
In 2015, 6.2 million passengers took a cruise in the EU, up from almost 7 million passengers in 2012 and in 2013 and 5.7 million in 2014.