Barcelona Port – sea transport to and from Barcelona
By the 1970s Barcelona had the reputation of turning its back on the sea, but given that much of the port area to the south of the Columbus monument (bottom of the Ramblas) that extends into Zona Franca has little to recommend it from any point of view, perhaps it is unsurprising.
Before General Franco decided to prostitute Spain’s best coastal scenery to mass tourism in the 1960s, it would seem that there was little regard for the sae at all, as further up the coast towns are blighted by railway lines running right next to the beach.
However, Barcelona started to claim back the sea when the historic old port – Port Vell – was refurbished in the 1980s, and with the construction of Port Olimpic for the 1992 games means that modern Barcelona very much looks to the sea.
The last few years have seen a surge in the number of cruise ships arriving in the city, disgorging their passengers to sample the best of Barcelona. The cruise and ferry terminals just a short distance away from the Columbus monument, next to Barcelona’s World Trade Centre that separates tourist shipping from Zona Franca’s cargo docks.
Barcelona ferry terminal
The number of locations with a ferry to Barcelona is extremely limited, with services from Rome and Livorno in Italy and Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and Mao (Minorca) in the Balearics.
Barcelona ferries are operated by Trasmediterránea and voyage frequency varies according to season. The Barcelona ferry terminal is located at the Moll de Barcelona, about 500 metres south of the Columbus monument located at the bottom of the Ramblas.
Increase in Barcelona cruise ships
Barcelona has become increasingly popular over the last few years as a cruise ship destination, with Barcelona’s cruise terminal located on the Moll de Oriental, from where a shuttle bus transfers passengers to the bottom of the Ramblas.
In the first 11 months of 2008 more than 2 million visitors arrived in Barcelona on board a cruise ship, a 19 percent increase over the same period in 2007. Considering it was a relatively minor cruise destination until relatively recently, it is surprising to learn that only Miami, Canaveral, Everglades and Cozumel beat Barcelona’s numbers as a cruise port.