Port Tarragona Welcomes First Cruise Ship Since Pandemic

Bolette in Tarragona

The Port of Tarragona in northeastern Spain’s Catalonia region has welcomed its first cruise ship since the start of the pandemic.

According to a press release, Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s 1,380-passenger Bolette docked at the Port of Tarragona’s Llevant Wharf on the morning of Sept. 27, at approximately 8 a.m. The Bolette arrived from Cádiz and set sail for Castellón at 10 p.m. the same day.

To celebrate the occasion, the port organized a welcoming event in which its president, Josep M Cruset, presented a metope to the ship’s captain.

Cruset stressed that “despite this being a year without cruise activity around the world, the sector has worked very hard to program stopovers while applying the necessary health and safety measures.” Cruset also described the arrival of the ship "as a hugely symbolic event for the port, for our region’s tourism sector and for a return to normalcy in 2022."

The Port of Tarragona is working on further bookings for this fall. It is currently expecting the arrival of five cruise vessels during October and another in November. However, the port clarifies that "these are anticipated arrivals, not confirmations."

From an operational point of view, the Port of Tarragona said that it has been “constantly prepared, both in 2020 and throughout 2021,” for the resumption of cruises, as well as in terms of logistics and the application of COVID-19 health measures.

The Port of Tarragona’s 2019 season, the last before the pandemic, saw a record number of 128,000 passengers pass through the port. In the final balance, it was described as the best cruise season since the start of the project. This figure was achieved by increasing the number of vessel calls to 63 and the arrival of larger vessels with higher passenger capacities.

In addition to the good quantitative results, the Rovira i Virgili University monitoring survey recorded an overall cruise passenger satisfaction rating for the Tarragona-Costa Daurada destination of “8.9 out of 10, bordering on excellent”.

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