Port of Portimao

Portimão Harbour


The Port of Portimão lies on the route to the Mediterranean Sea, to the islands in the North Atlantic and of cruise ships playing their way across the Atlantic. Just one night’s sailing distance south of Lisbon (134 nautical miles), Portimão is either the first or the last port of call for every cruise ship on the world’s most popular holiday cruises.

The Port of Portimão cruise ship facility is located in the city centre, near excellent beaches, hotels, shopping, dining and entertainment, an attractive start and finish to any cruise experience. It is also the gateway to the Algarve, the world famous southernmost region of Portugal.


The port is a stone’s throw away from the Algarve’s main cities and only 35 minutes from Faro International Airport via the A22 motorway, and 10 minutes from the local aerodrome, where there are special facilities for private aeroplanes.

By road, the A22 joins the A2 and A49 motorways, with Lisbon and Seville just two and half hours away.

The city station is 5 minutes away, where trains can be caught that link up with the national and European railway network.

Cruise Terminal


The Port of Portimão will continue to offer cruise lines and operators conditions to allow larger vessels to moor alongside. The facility is a key step in attracting more international cruise ships to the Algarve.

In the light of the growing demand for cruise ship capacity, the Portimão Port Authority has dredged the harbour, channel and turning basin to 8m and a turning diameter of 350m has been available since 2008. This means that ships of up to 210m in length can enter the harbour in safety. As a result almost all the ships that currently call on Portimão will be able to dock as opposed to anchoring offshore, meaning passengers will enjoy greater safety and convenience.

The project to extend wharf facilities includes a 700m-long berth capable of handling two 2000-passenger cruise ships at once.

High performance foam filled fenders are fitted on the quay side.

Portimão Port Authority is improving the wharf facilities, and constructing new accesses for passenger pick-up and drop-off to accommodate a new service for the cruise ships, as well as facilities for security and cruise operations.

Ramps and other facilities for wheelchair users are also to be provided.


Chart datum minimum water depths on approach:

Bar: 8.0 metres | Channel: 8.0 metres

Turning basin: 8.0 metres

Channel/Berth water density: salt water – 1.025

Average tide height basis MLWS/MHWS: 0.56/3.45 metres

Average tide height basis MLWN/MHWN: 1.38/2.64 metres

Type of Bottom: sand

The cruise terminal has a quay more than 300 metres long, where two ships can moor at the same time.

Equipped with a terminal building with the capacity to embark up to 2000 passengers per hour, it also has a parking area for passenger coaches, a shuttle to the centre of the city and a taxi-rank.

Along the riverside walkway, you can find connections to the city’s main public transport, in particular minibuses which run every 15 minutes to the most important places in the city.




Berth length: 330 metres

Berth height above chart datum: 5.3 metres

Maximum Vessel LOA: cruise ships: 210 metres; cargo vessels: 140 metres

Maximum Vessel draft: 7.0 metres (up to 8.5 metres with tidal restrictions)

Maximum draft alongside: 9.0 metres

Roll-On / Roll-off facilities: terminal available


The terminal can provide fresh water, electricity, bunkering and garbage and waste water collection.


CRANES - The quayside is equipped with 2 cranes:

1 X 6 tonnes SWL and 1 X 12 tonnes SWL

FENDERING – The quayside is fitted with floating rubber fenders of a non-marking type.

TENDERING – Cruise ships anchored offshore can tender passengers to the passenger terminal (floating pontoon).

TUGS - One 400 bhp tugboat is available full-time. A 2,400 bhp tugboat is available when requested 24 hours in advance.

ROLL-ON / ROLL-OFF FACILITIES - Terminal available


The Port of Portimão comes under the authority of the INSTITUTO PORTUÁRIO E DOS TRANSPORTES MARÍTIMOS – DELEGAÇÃO DO SU


The terminal building offers a range of services for passengers’ comfort and convenience:

• Check-in facility for passengers and luggage

• Passport Control

• Bar/Coffee Shop with Terrace

• Duty Free Shop

• Tourist Information Office

• Handicraft Shop offering a range of Regional Products

• Vending Machines

• Cashpoint/ATM

• Toilets

• Public Telephones

• There is a taxi-rank and a coach park.

• Minibuses run between the port and the main tourist sites every 15 minutes.

Cais de Comércio e Turismo - Commerce and Tourism Quay was built in 1984. Situated in the right margin of the Arade River and used mainly by cruise ships that call at the harbour of Portimão. Intimately related with the urban area this quay has 300 m long.

Marina of Portimão (Marina de Portimão) - was inaugurated in May 2000 and has the capacity for 632 vessels with less than 30 m *between fingers and until 50 m (from the top and the VIP quay.

Terminal Ro-Ro, upstream of the above mentioned quay enables the docking of ships with a draft of 9 m;


Navy Quay (Cais da Marinha de Guerra), down stream of the Commerce and Tourism Quay, with  150 m long and depths -8m ZH;

Núcleo de Pesca ( Fishing Nucleus) – located on the left margin is has na Access with ‑6 m ZH. It has a quay for unloading of  vessels nest to the auction, a quay for coastal and freezer trawlers, two walkways for parking with depth of -3 m ZH, as well as a ramp for beaching of small vessels de pequenas embarcações at the hydrographic zero.;

Nucleus of shipyards (Núcleo de Estaleiros), confined to the west the fishing dock, it has two external working áreas of about 20 000 m2: one north of the slant composed of 12 “careers” of 1 000 m2 each; anfd the other at South, composed of 8 “careers” also of 1 000 m2. It include also two building  to support companies yards (to be used for warehouses, workshops and offices) and of 3 tile support for areas outside of work pier finishes (with about 150 m long), beaching ramp for hauling vessels (with about 100 m working width) and a travel-lift for boat hauling with a capacity of 300 ton  ;

The port is situated on the Arade river.

Portimão Harbour detail data for cartography

Physical conditions

Channel/berth water density:salt water – 1.025

Type of bottom: sand

Average tide height basis MLWS / MHWS: 0.56 / 3.45 meters

Average tide height basis MLWN / MHWN: 1.38 / 2.64 meters

Administrative context : competences and interactions between States, Regions and Locals governments and different methods of harbour governance used (with informations on their impacts on tourism, aquaculture, fisheries...);

The area of jurisdiction of IPTM-Sul in the Portimão Harbour é limited at south by the west pier continuing through the marginal from the mouth of the Arade river until the railway bridge. On the left margin, the area of jurisdiction is until the Ferragudo river, from the water front of Ferragudo until the water fountain. From the railway bridge until Silves, the area of jurisdiction is restricted to the fairway of the Arade  river.

The area of juristicion includes the Commerce and Tourism Quay, the marina and the recreational dock. It also includes the fishing harbour and the area of the naval shipyards at the rising edge.  In addition to the uses assigned to the port activities (marina and maritime touristic)  all the marginal of the Portimão area has urban use.

Socioeconomic activities (beach, maritime traffic, ferry boat, boating, military tourism, ship building industry, marine culture,...)

Regular Ferry: there is a weekly cargo/car/passenger ferry service from Portimão to Madeira and the Canary Islands. The service departs from Portimão Harbour every Sunday at noon

Relationship and impact between these activities and the other regional activities, the natural environment, water bodies and protected areas (Nature 2000, bathing zones,...)

It contributes to the increase of tourism and transport activities. There are bathing zones inside and outside the harbour area that might be affected by the quality of the HMWB. The Nature 2000 areas are north of the harbour. 


The Port of Portimão complies fully with the ISPS code (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code).

CCTV has been fitted and there is 24 hour continuous surveillance.


For Maritime Pollution there is one called “Plano Mar Limpo”.

The Port has a marine pollution combat service which includes inflatable barriers and a water cannon.

A tug-boat equipped with sea fire fighting equipment is also available

Summarize trades off between water bodies and protected areas (Nature 2000, bathing zones) ;

There are bathing zones inside and outside the harbour area that might be affected by the quality of the HMWB. The Nature 2000 areas are north of the harbour.