Source: MedCruise (2020). MedCruise Statistics 2019. MedCruise: Tenerife.
The seasonality of cruise activities does not restrict the development of a cruise region. The Mediterranean and its adjoining seas evolved as a most dynamic cruise region with a very seasonal pattern of cruise activities. Each month of the May-October period host, in a most balanced way, traffic shares of 10-12%. In total, 75% of the cruise passenger movements that take place annually in this cruise region happen during this six-months period. The share of the total passenger movements registered during the three winter months (January, February, December) stands at only 7%, of the total annual movements. This has triggered stakeholders discussions on how to achieve year-round activities, without however concrete results for the moment.
Detailing the total number of cruise calls per month reveals that winter activities are linked with single call operations of a different size than in the rest of the year. In the Mediterranean example, less than 850 calls out of an annual total exceeding 12.500 calls happen from December to February. Yet these months each call is associated, on average, with more passengers per month; January is the month with the highest rate of passengers per call (2,314 pax), followed by February (2,153 pax) and December (2,095 pax). Cruise lines develop fewer itineraries, as repositioning of vessels is taking place, with cruises marked by a substantially higher level of utilization. From a port and destination perspective, respective adjustments of operations are essential.