Barcelona bans cruise ships from main port

Barcelona pushes through ban on cruise sips.

Barcelona pushes through ban on cruise sips.

Barcelona is Europe’s biggest cruise port with over 2.3 million passengers passing through in 2022 but this could soon take a dint.

When Barcelona saw 2.3 million people enter their city via cruises in 2022, that was a major leap from the previous year, some 350%, and that may well have been down to people knowing this could be their final chance to dock so close to the city and La Rambla.

This is because, back in 2018 an agreement was struck up between port authorities and Barcelona city council which would see all cruise activities pushed further away from urban areas as a way to make them more sustainable.

While this deal doesn’t officially kick into place until October 22, which is still 10 days away, the last cruise ship has already docked and moved on which was the Mystic Cruises’ World Navigator on October 2.

When will Barcelona’s cruise ban come into effect?

Lluís Salvadó spoke upon the departure of the final cruise ship docking so close to the city centre about how the 2018 agreement will do wonders for the region moving forward as he promised to ‘eliminate the negative externalities that [cruises] can produce for residents.’

From October 22, cruise ships will now be forced to dock at the Moll d’Adossat pier which is the furthest one away from the city centre, so it will certainly help to keep Barcelona more sustainable and healthy to live in.

While passengers used to be able to disembark their cruise ship and be a mere few minutes away from exploring La Rambla, they will now be forced to walk up to 30 minutes from where their cruises will be docked.

This new rule will reportedly impact around 340 cruises each year that look to come and dock in Barcelona, but they will have to convince passengers it is still worth it despite this much longer walk.

What will this newfound space be used for in Barcelona?

Once this new rule comes into force the city of Barcelona will reclaim the land which stands at around 150,000 square feet, including over 2,000 of quay area which will be designated as ‘new public spaces.’

It has been reported that the wharf will start to look brand new and given a fresh lease of life from next fall, so around about 12 months from now and will indeed be open to everyone, which means residents and tourists, although Barcelona are said to be looking for a different kind of tourist moving forward.

According to the former manager for the economy, resources and economic promotion at Barcelona council ‘Barcelona is looking for a different kind of tourism – more quality but at the same time sustainable.’

So, that could mean that Barcelona are after more people who will come and enjoy their sights, surroundings and have a relaxed time while exploring, and potentially fewer tourists who see the city as a good place to come for nothing more than just football and/or drinking alcohol.

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Written by

Aaron Hindhaugh

Qualified and experienced journalist covering all aspects of news and sport. Specialist in both Men's and Women's football with increasing coverage of golf and tennis.