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Porto Might Receive Cruise Ships in 2 Years

While some cities are moving away from this type of tourism, others are actively preparing for it. For example, Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, is currently accessible by disembarking at the Port of Leixões on the Atlantic coast and then traveling by road to reach the city center. However, there are plans to allow cruise ships to navigate into the mouth of the Douro River and dock on the southern shore in Vila Nova de Gaia (Gaia for short) within the next two years. This would provide tourists with direct access to the riverfront metropolis.

The Administration of the Ports of Douro, Leixões, and Viana do Castelo (APDL) aims to construct the cruise terminal in the Cais do Cavaco area, and there is already an agreement with the Municipality of Gaia regarding this project. The proposal has received approval from the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) and is currently undergoing public consultation until June 14 before final approval is granted. However, considering the environmental implications of allowing cruise ships up the already navigable river, as well as the trend of other European cities turning away from large vessels, questions arise regarding the potential impact of this decision.

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