The number of cruise ships visiting Barcelona each year continues to grow – it is now well over 500 ships a year – and it’s quite regular now to see ten or more cruise ships in the port during the height of the summer season. Of these sometimes colossal vessels, a good number actually begin their itineraries right here.
A quick scan through the Cruise Lines shows that Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, MSC Italian, Holland America, Seabourn, Silversea, Azamara Cruises and Celebrity Cruises all regularly begin some of their cruises from the port of Barcelona.
Most of these cruises, of course, focus on the Mediterranean and they range from the short Royal Caribbean 4 night ‘Western Med’ cruise, with stops in Marseilles and Ibiza, to those such as the Holland America 24 day ‘Magic of the Mediterranean’ stopping in 15 different ports.
Some of the ships, though, turn right when they leave the port instead of left and head out of the Mediterranean. The 14 night Azamara Cruise to Western Europe, for example, goes to ports from Gibraltar through to Copenhagen – it even has a stop at Tower Bridge! Azamara Cruises is the name of the newly formed luxury cruise line which has ships carrying only 710 passengers. It’s also possible to take cruises from Barcelona that go westwards into the Atlantic – such as the Royal Caribbean 10 night Canary Island and Morocco Cruise.
If you really want to experience the ultimate in luxury cruises then the Seabourn ships – including the Seabourn Legend that you might have seen in ‘Speed 2; Cruise Control’ – have only 208 guests each and really do believe in pampering you around the most exclusive venues. Their Yachtsman’s Riviera Cruise, for example, stops at St Tropez and Monte Carlo, amongst other places.
There are now 9 terminals at Barcelona Port, 7 of which cater for cruise liners. Mostly, these ships will be berthed at Muella de Adosado, using Terminals A,B,C and D. Unfortunately, these are the furthest away from the centre of the city; about a 30 minute walk over the high bridge to the waterfront and an extra 5 or 10 for La Rambla. Don’t forget the Portbús, though – the ZAL bright blue ones – as they will take you all the way from the Columbus Monument.
You might, however, be rather luckier and have a berth at the Estació Maritima, which sometimes happens. The berths here are between the Torre Jaime I and the waterfront – only about 5 minutes from downtown.
I personally think the notion of starting a cruise in Barcelona is a fabulous idea. You can spend a couple of days exploring this fascinating city and then sail away and visit a few more.
It sounds perfect to me.