Cruise ships in Turkey fell 43 percent in 2017
Eray GÖRGÜLÜ - ANKARA
That came on top of the 50-percent annual decline recorded in 2016.
As fewer ships docked at the country’s ports, cruise passenger traffic also declined to 306,887 in 2017, down from 628,033 in the previous year.
In 2017, only four cruise ships with 331 passengers aboard visited Istanbul, the country’s largest city and a major tourist attraction, which compared unfavorably with 46 cruise ships and 9,353 passengers in 2016.
The town of Kuşadası in the Aegean province of Aydın also saw a decline in the number of cruise ships visiting the popular touristic town. Last year, a total of 126 cruise ships and 119,000 passengers visited Kuşadası, down from 247 ships and 349,781 tourists in 2016.
Data from the Directorate General of Merchant Marine, however, showed that the number of ships passing through Turkey’s straits increased last year compared to 2016.
A total of 87,593 ships sailed through the country’s straits in 2017, up from 86,464.
Last year, 42,978 ships used the Bosphorus Strait while the corresponding figure for the Dardanelles was 44,615.
The total weight of the ships that passed through Turkey’s straits last year was 1.42 billion gross tons versus 1.32 billion gross tons in 2016.