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Barcelona consolidates its position as the world’s 4th largest cruise ship port

The Catalan capital is the world’s 4th main port for the cruise ship industry, with the first 3 one being all in Florida. This means that Barcelona is the most important port in Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in terms of the amount of cruise ship passengers it receives. After a small decline in 2012, this year the Catalan capital is expecting to repeat its all time record from 2011, with more than 2.6 million cruise passengers. Furthermore, the cruise ship industry is increasingly using other Catalan harbours, such as Roses and Palamós. This week, for the first time ever, two large cruise ships docked at Palamós at the same time. In addition, this weekend is one of the busiest for Barcelona’s port, with 15 cruise ships docking in its harbour, transporting a total of 55,000 passengers.

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09 August 2013 09:56 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- This weekend, the port of Barcelona will receive the largest number of cruise ships passengers this August, hosting 15 ships that will transport 55,000 visitors. It is not the annual record, since in May 65,000 people passed through the Catalan capital’s harbour in a single weekend. However, the figures confirm Barcelona as the world’s 4th main port for the cruise ship industry, after the first 3 which are all located in Florida. This means that Barcelona is the largest port in Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in terms of the amount cruise ship passengers it receives. After a small decline in 2012, this year the Catalan capital is expecting to repeat its all time record from 2011, with more than 2.6 million cruise passengers. Furthermore, the cruise ship industry is increasingly using other Catalan harbours, such as Roses and Palamós. This week, for the first time ever, two large cruise ships docked at Palamós at the same time.


More than 2.6 million cruise passengers going through Barcelona\u2019s Port

The General Director for Cruise Ships of the Port of Barcelona, Carles Domingo, explained they are expecting to repeat or even improve on the record results from 2011. Two years ago, more than 2.6 million cruise ship passengers had Barcelona as a stop on their trip or as their arrival or departure destination, setting the port\u2019s current record. However, in the first six months of 2013, the number of passengers is 3% higher than the same period of 2011. Therefore, the Catalan port managers are optimistic about this year\u2019s final results, especially after confirming the positive prospects for the summer.

Cruise ships stop at the Costa Brava

However, the cruise ship industry is also expanding its activities to other Catalan ports, especially in the Costa Brava (north-eastern Catalonia). An example of this is that yesterday, the Port of Palamós welcomed for the first time ever two-large scale cruise ships at the same time. The Crystal Symphony and the Seabourn Quest respectively brought 917 and 459 visitors to the Catalan town. Most of them disembarked the boats to enjoy the renowned Costa Brava beaches, discover Palamós\u2019 old town or the famous Catalan cuisine. Furthermore, on Friday, a 243-metre long cruise ship from Thomson Dream brought 1,635 passengers and 610 crew members to Palamós. This tour operator has been working in Palamós and the Costa Brava for many years now, offering routes along the Mediterranean Sea that include this privileged part of Catalonia\u2019s coastline.

In fact, this summer the port of Palamós will receive a total of 6,000 cruise ship passengers, which is a very small figure compared to Barcelona\u2019s but it consolidates the presence of large-scale boats in other Catalan ports beyond Barcelona. Another port that will host cruise ships this summer is Roses, which hosts the Seabourn Legend twice. During 2013, Roses and Palamós are expecting to receive a total of 33,000 cruise ship passengers combined, with the stop of 43 ships.

Each cruise passenger spends 125 euros per day in Barcelona

Carles Domingo emphasised the positive impact that cruise passengers have for the local economy. Those going through Barcelona\u2019s Port will spend an average of \u20AC125 if they are starting or finishing their trip in the Catalan capital, since most of them will also book a hotel in the city. Furthermore, many tend to spend a few days in Barcelona before or after boarding their cruise ship. If they are only stopping at the city as part of their trip, then each tourist spends between 60 and 75 euros, doing some shopping, eating out or visiting monuments or museums. 56% of the cruise passengers going through Barcelona are the so-called \u2018turnarounds\u2019, which means they start or finish their trip there; the remaining 44% spend only a few hours in the city, between one destination and another.

Domingo explained that this weekend, cruise ship passengers will spend some \u20AC5 million in Barcelona. On Friday seven boats will visit Barcelona, transporting 17,600 passengers. Some of them are the Carnival Sunshine, the Celebrity Equinox, the Silver Wind, the Crystal Symphony, Aida Vita and the MSC Preciosa. On Saturday, 6 boats will be docked in Barcelona, with 14,400 passengers. Some of them are the Royal Princess, the Disney Magic, the Sovereign and the Grand Holiday. Finally, on Sunday 5 ships will stay in the city, with 23,000 passengers on board, including the Serenade of the Seas, the Norwegian Epic and the Liberty of the Seas.

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  • Cruise ships on Barcelona's Port (by J. Molina)

  • A Thomson Dream ship in Palamós (by N. Guisasola)

  • Cruise ships on Barcelona's Port (by J. Molina)
  • A Thomson Dream ship in Palamós (by N. Guisasola)