On Saturday, the Port of Barcelona saw eight large cruise vessels with over 31,000 passengers on board in its waters, beating the annual record of cruise passengers on a single day at the Port. This coming Friday, nine cruise ships will arrive in the city with over 26,000 passengers, setting the annual record of cruise ships calling at the Port on a single day. Thus, in less than a week the Port of Barcelona will break the record number of cruise passengers and cruise ships of the year.
Seven of the eight vessels that stopped over in the city will have Barcelona as their homeport for their turnaround operations. These ships are Disney Magic, Ruby Princess, Sovereign, Liberty of the Seas, Seadream I, Silver Wind and Noordam. Only Nieuw Amsterdam will stopover in the Port of Barcelona and continue its itinerary. On Friday, four ships will do complete or partial turnarounds in Barcelona (Costa Serena, Carnival Magic, Crystal Serenity and MSC Splendida) and five will do transit (Orient Queen, Aidavita, Corinthian II, Thomson Dream and Independence of the Seas).
From January to July, the Catalan capital has received a total of 451 cruise ships (21 more calls than in the same period last year). Moreover, during the first seven months of the year, the Port of Barcelona has welcomed 1.3 million cruise passengers, a 16 percent increase on the same period of 2010.
Wendy Epstein of All Ways Travel told Travel Agent that she feels cruise business to Barcelona will increase in the future. "It's an interesting city, with lots of history, architecture and shopping," she said. "And the port is by the downtown area, at Las Ramblas." Better yet, for those looking to use the city as a pre- or post-cruise destination, there are lots of good flights both in and out.