Maritime passenger transport is an important form of passenger transport, both for business and pleasure, but is often neglected in scientific literature. The main goal of this paper is to emphasize the importance of maritime passenger transport in Europe. In order to identify its main features and actors, i.e. the leading European countries and ports in the maritime passenger transport, separately for cruise and non-cruise transport, a quantitative analysis was carried out based on the data gathered from Eurostat and CLIA Europe. It was concluded that the features of maritime passenger transport in two main European regions, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, differ significantly. Therefore, the final analysis of maritime passenger transport in Europe was conducted for each region separately.