Cruise traffic has brought new record figures at the Port of Barcelona with the arrival of 2.069.651 passengers in 2008, of which more than 55% began and/or ended their tour in the city. This result confirms the forecast of Barcelona Port Authority to break the mark of two million passengers in 2008, which was achieved in November, one month before reaching the end of the year.
2008 cruise tourists throughput means a 17,20% increase over the previous year, when the Port received 1.765.838 travellers. The number of cruise calls has also grown by 8%, with a total of 887 calls in 2008.
This evolution in cruise traffic strengthens Barcelona position as the top cruise port of Europe and the fifth of the whole world, following the main four Caribbean ports (Miami, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades and Cozumel). Part of this success is due to the Port strategy to break seasonality. In fact, in 2008 several cruise operators have positioned some of their vessels in Barcelona during autumn and winter months, enabling the Port to keep a steady flow of passengers during the low season. This is the case of MSC Cruceros, Costa Cruceros, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, amongst others.
In view of the growing demand for berthing and services by the cruise industry, efforts to enlarge and improve passengers’ facilities have been undertaken at the Port of Barcelona during the few last years. Creuers del Port de Barcelona has invested 15 million euros in the brand new Terminal A, which opened last June with a capacity for 4.000 passengers, 8 300 m2 and 350 m of berthing line.
In April 2007 Costa Crociere opened its new ‘Palacruceros’ Terminal in Barcelona, with 5 500 m2 and equipped to accommodate cruise ships of all tonnage, length and capacity. The Italian company invested approximately 12 million euros in the new terminal for preferential use by Costa Crociere and other companies in the Carnival Corporation group.
The Port of Barcelona currently has 7 terminals exclusively dedicated to cruise passengers, although it is planned to build a new passenger terminal at the Moll Adossat quay in the near future.