Over the past 25 years the cruise industry has witnessed considerable growth. The increasing size and passenger capacity characterizes the maritime industry, e.g. new vessels can accommodate more than 3000 passengers. Cruise production is concentrated in the hands of a few players, in fact, 77% of capacity (calculated in terms of berths) belongs to the top five world cruise companies (Carnival Corporation & PLC, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Ltd, Star Cruises Ltd – NCL, Louise Cruise Lines and MSC Crociere S.p.A.). During the growth phase of the cruise industry, the Mediterranean has gained an increasingly competitive position. It has become one of the top destinations chosen by cruise companies for its position, temperate climate, historical-artistic resources, and political stability, but the importance of Mediterranean cruise ports also depends on services that ports offer to the cruise shipping enterprise. Moreover, the features of ports and passenger terminals have attracted cruise companies to this area and they have also influenced the decision of cruise operators to invest in cruise infrastructure. The characteristics of the partnerships between Port Authorities, Cruise Terminals and Cruise Companies play a significant role in investment and management decisions of every shipping player. Cruise shipping lines in this context are faced with a make or buy decision to directly control some specific operations and to obtain preferential port spaces in order to gain competitive advantage over cruise competitors. The aim of the paper is to measure the impacts on performance of cruise terminals when public- private partnership is implemented. Despite the spread of public-private partnerships in the management of cruise terminals, there are few studies dedicated to this topic.
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