Taking a ferry from Barcelona can be a pleasant alternative to taking an aeroplane – or even, in some cases, driving.

Most people will be aware that there are regular ferry services across to the Balearic Islands, but there are also some interesting connections with ports in Italy, including Civitavecchia, which is the nearest port to Rome.

Barcelona ferry port can be found adjacent to the cruise terminal in the old port, Port Vell, right at the sea end of Las Ramblas. Now one of Europe’s major cruise ship ports, the re-development of the area is set to continue over the coming years but, at present, there are four main ferry terminals, each catering for the needs of differing operators.

The current ferry routes to and from Barcelona are as follows (crossing times in brackets):
Mahon (Mao), 6 times each week with Trasmediterranea; 3 times each week, with Balearia; 3 times with Iscomar (8hrs 30 to 9 hours)
Ciutadella, 7 crossings weekly with Balearia (3 hrs 45 min)
Alcudia, 7 crossings with Balearia (5 hrs 45 min)
Ibiza, 7 crossings with Balearia; 3 with Iscomar; 2 with Trasmediterranea (8 hrs 30 min to 10 hours)
San Antonio Ibiza, 4 crossings with Balearia (9 hours)
Palma, 13 crossings with Trasmediterranea; 7 with Balearia; 7 with Iscomar (7 hours to 8 hrs 15 min)
Tangier, 1 per week with Grandi Navi Veloci (24 hrs 30 min)
Genoa, 5 crossings weekly with Grandi Navi Veloci (18 hours)
Livorno, 3 crossings with Grimaldi (19 hrs 30 min)
Civitavecchia, 7 crossings with Grimaldi (20 hours)
Porto Torres, Sardinia, 7 crossings with Grimaldi (11 hrs 45 min)

As many of these journeys are overnight, they can be an ideal way of travelling without the need to ‘lose’ a day of your holiday.

The nearest Metro stop to the port terminals is Drassanes (Green Line, Line 3), although this is still about a 20 minute walk away from the nearest terminal. There are port shuttle buses – bright blue ones of the Z.A.L. Company – which run to the Columbus monument, close to the Metro. Taxis from the city centre, however, will only take about 10 minutes, so will not be very expensive.
If you’re travelling by car, then there is a car park 5 minutes away from the terminals at Passeig de Josep Carner/Passeig de Montjuïc. This has the added advantage of 24 hour security.

The official websites of each of the operators are:

All of these sites have English versions and are easy to navigate.

Certainly, if you are planning a touring holiday and would like to visit either the Balearics, northern Italy or even Sardinia, then considering a ferry journey from Barcelona might well be an interestingly different way of going about it.

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