The Port of Bilbao has reported some 40,000 passengers for 2010, with the Grand Mistral making four calls, embarking and disembarking passengers. Next year, MSC Cruises and Cunard Line will follow suit.

Other callers this year included Celebrity, Silversea, Holland America Line and P&O.

The port claims to be only 15 minutes from the town of Bilbao and its international airport which has connecting flights to the larger European capitals and links to other Spanish cities.

In September, the port also inaugurated its new 1,400-square-meter terminal facility, built at a cost of 1.9 million euro. The facility has designated areas for baggage check-in and collection, a waiting area and a tourism office.