Serving more than 1.3 million passengers annually, Barcelona is a major hub of cruise activity in Europe. Located on the eastern coast of Spain, the city is in a superb position for both Mediterranean and transatlantic voyages, and as a culturally diverse metropolis with dozens of attractions, it is also a stunning destination in and of itself.
Cruises from Barcelona
With seven modern terminals capable of servicing even modern megaships, the city hosts most major cruise lines that frequent the Mediterranean, including:
- Royal Caribbean Cruises
- Celebrity Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Cunard Cruise Line
- Oceania Cruises
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Disney Cruise Line
- Silversea Cruises
- Radisson Seven Seas Cruises
- Windstar Cruises
- Seabourn Cruises
Cruise lines frequently add and delete departure ports from their regular routes, and for updated information, prospective passengers should contact a cruise travel agent for current itineraries and cruise line options.
Because of its unique position overlooking the popular Mediterranean, most cruises leaving the city are Mediterranean cruises visiting ports in Spain, Turkey, Italy (notably Rome and Venice), France, and Greece (Athens). Several transatlantic voyages also depart from the city, and a limited number of northern European itineraries also originate from this northern Mediterranean port.
Voyage lengths range from 3 to 15 nights, with the majority being seven-night cruises of both one-way and round-trip itineraries. Shorter options are nearly always roundtrip with only one or two ports of call, while seven day voyages offer a great range of destinations to choose from.
Once the key to Mediterranean travel, this Spanish city offers a stunning array of sight-seeing options and attractions suitable for every member of the family. Popular sites include:
- Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) Monument: Located at the cruise terminal, this prestigious monument built in 1888 is a testament to the overseas exploration that first uncovered the Americas. Visitors can admire the monument from the ground or opt for an elevator to a viewing area at the top.
- La Rambla: This quaint district in the center of downtown is adjacent to the port area and offers passengers an intimate glimpse of true Spanish culture, with street performers, independent merchants, and eccentric boutiques lining the boulevard.
- Architecture: Even without a firm destination, architecture aficionados will appreciate the beauty and variety of Barcelona's construction, with neighborhoods throughout the city themed to different eras and designers. Local maps are available with preplanned walking tours.
- Museums: In this city that treasures beauty and art, more than 50 museums are open to the public with exhibits ranging from modern independent artists to Renaissance greats such as Picasso. Hours of operation and specific exhibits vary.
- Theatres: From open air rotundas to modern megaplexes, entertainment is never lacking throughout the city. Puppet theatres are popular with families, while IMAX and other options are available to suit every taste.
- Laberint d'Horta: This famed topiary maze is part of the oldest park in the city, and the terraced gardens are exquisitely maintained throughout the year. Other parks offer biking trails, ponies, miniature trains, and other attractions.
- Barcelona Zoo: With more than 500 species, a petting zoo, and a dolphin show, visitors to the city zoo will appreciate the variety and dedication to conservation it demonstrates.
- Aquarium of Barcelona: Another option for wildlife lovers, the aquarium has 20 themed tanks and an underwater glass tunnel to introduce visitors to the more than 8,000 animals from hundreds aquatic species that reside here.
- Shopping: Passengers interested in finding the perfect souvenir will find abundant shopping opportunities on the Shopping Line, a five kilometer (three mile) extravaganza of shops and boutiques. Much of the designated area is closed to vehicular traffic, and window shopping alone can overwhelm even dedicated shopaholics.
Getting to the Port
Because of its location downtown, getting to the port can be tricky and the most direct and least confusing option is to take a taxi, which amounts to a 25 minute ride from the international airport. Shuttle buses and metro stops are located approximately a ten minute walk from the port itself, but may involve multiple changes and other stops. The terminal is also serviced by numerous ferries from nearby locations. Cruise passengers who arrive a day or two before their cruise can opt for the luxurious Grand Marina Hotel, a five-star luxury hotel right at the terminal, which then eliminates unnecessary travel throughout the city.
Port de Barcelona
Pl. Portal de la Pau