Located in the strategic area of Southern Spain, Cartagena has been on the growth trek, with 155 calls expected next season.
Before heading to China, the Majestic Princess called on the Spanish town earlier this year, and the Royal Princess will follow with six calls, interporting.
The Encore will also make its first calls at the port, as will the Silver Muse come August, said Hortensia Sanchez, cruise manager.
She said Cartagena was the most competitive port in Spain, offering discounts on volume and frequent cruise line visits, as well as off-season incentives.
A number of new shore excursions have been introduced, of which the tapas tour has quickly become popular, taking passengers on a tour of the city and then to taste several types of local tapas.
“Cartagena has achieved year-long growth with additional calls in the peak months, April and May in the spring and October and November in the autumn,” said Sanchez. “But even the summer season, when 20 years ago there were zero calls, we are now receiving between 35 and 40 calls during the months of June, July and August.”
The cruise berth has been enlarged twice, most recently in 2016, from 560 to 700 meters.
The cruise terminal has also received a recent upgrade, with new rest and shaded areas, a new civil guard center and a re-flowed parking area.
“On the land side, and in order to handle a greater number of shore excursions from different ships, the terminal area has been enlarged and we have improved the access to the Terminal, both for buses and passengers. In 2016, given the partial turnarounds by the Royal Princess, a terminal was built,” Sanchez said.