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Top 20 EU Passenger Transport Countries

The 20 largest countries in Europe based on ferry transport via water. A top 20 in which Italy has been at the top for years (think of Elba, Sardinia and Sicily). Greece is the second country, followed by Denmark.

We also included UK into the rankings without an actual ranking as it's not part of the EU stats. With this you are able to compare the UK to other countries.

Top 20 EU passenger transport by water

#Country20192020Decline / Growth
1Italy45.697.00029.296.000-56%
2Greece36.518.00020.038.000-82%
3Denmark31.105.00019.109.000-63%
4Sweden29.146.00013.229.000-120%
5Germany20.158.00010.530.000-91%
6Croatia16.920.0009.235.000-83%
7France20.649.0008.334.000-148%
8Spain18.981.0007.808.000-143%
ExtraUK21.200.0008.100.000-147%
9Finland18.521.0007.006.000-164%
10Estonia12.332.0006.307.000-96%
11Malta7.402.0004.181.000-77%
12Norway6.365.0001.893.000-236%
13Poland2.279.0001.662.000-37%
14Netherlands2.010.000967.000-108%
15Ireland2.645.000814.000-225%
16Portugal371.000541.00031%
17Latvia1.032.000435.000-137%
18Lithuania343.000308.000-11%
19Turkey1.612.000307.000-425%
20Belgium307.00040.000-668%
* Data from Eurostat & Data from Ec Europe: Country level - passengers (excluding cruise passengers) transported to/from main ports.[1]https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/explore/all/transp?lang=en&subtheme=mar&display=list&sort=category&extractionId=MAR_MP_AM_CFT
** The data from Eurostat seem to be partly incomplete. For instance in The Netherlands the data for travel to and from the Wadden Islands is not included.
*** This is the most actual and up to date information that can be found, when 2021 is available we will publish an update within this article. 

Italy at 1st Spot

For years now Italy has the most ferry passengers in Europe. Also due to the many ferries that leave from Italy to Sicily and Sardinia, Italy has been the largest ferry country in Europe for years. Greece and Denmark are a close call, but after the Covid decline Greece will probably outgrow Denmark very quickly again. This because the numbers in Denmark are much more stable and normally much lower compared to Greece.

If you further zoom into the data from Italy, here are the top 10 passenger harbours:

#Harbors Passengers / year
1Messina7.719
2Reggio di Calabria7.528
3Napoli5.292
4Capri2.715
5Ischia2.645
6Piombino2.593
7Isola d' Elba2.384
8Trapani1.558
9Palau1.162
10La Maddalena1.075

Latvia 31% Growth

Latvia is the only country to have handled more passengers in 2020 than in 2019. Could be related to the many new connections that have started in Latvia in recent years.

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1 Comment
  1. Was expecting Greece to top this list, didn’t know Italy had so many big connections.

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