The Port of Bilbao is forecasting more than 70,000 cruise passengers for 2014, up from 57,000 passengers last year. These passengers came from the United Kingdom (33%), Spain (20%), the U.S. (19%), and Germany (5%).
This spring, the port Authority will bring a new cruise facility into operation, with 354-meter long pier and a draft of 12 meters. It will be adjacent to the existing facility. The new pier represents an investment of 13.8 million euros.
Thus, Bilbao will be able to provide cruise lines with 1000 meters of berthing with 12 meters of draft, covering a surface area of 34,000 square meters.
Based in Getxo, the cruise facility is located within walking distance of a marina and only one kilometer from one of its many EU Blue Flag beaches. The Bibao city center is only a 20 minute drive away, as is the international airport. Shuttle buses are available for the beach and the nearby World Heritage Hanging Bridge and the city center.
Last year, three companies –MSC Cruises, Iberocruceros and Pullmantur- used Bilbao for turnarounds, according to the port. Celebrity Cruises called for the first time, making seven overnight calls.