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Guide To Barcelona Cruise Port, Spain

Updated on July 15, 2011
View across Barcelona Port at the World Trade Center cruise north terminal with Quai Adossat beyond
View across Barcelona Port at the World Trade Center cruise north terminal with Quai Adossat beyond

Barcelona, Spain's Cruise Capital

Barcelona, the capital city of the Spanish Catalonia area is one of Europe's most beautiful and awe-inspiring destinations. A city of contrasts, it is a truly unique city, most visible in its signature architecture, a marriage of Gothic and modern, with one name featuring prominently, the celebrated architect Antonio Gaudi. If you're a visiting cruise passenger it's good to think of the city as broadly split into two parts, the old city, with the famous museums and buildings, and Port Vell, with bars, restaurants, aquarium and theaters.

View from Montjuic of Costa Cruise Ship berthed at Palacruceros cruise terminal on Quai Adossat
View from Montjuic of Costa Cruise Ship berthed at Palacruceros cruise terminal on Quai Adossat

Cruise Ship Facilities at Barcelona

Cruise ships berth at Port Vell. The area has become a tourist attraction by itself with a big Maremàgnum shopping center with a fun IMAX theater, and Europe's largest aquarium. Port Vell leads directly on to Las Ramblas, a famous Barcelona street packed with cafes and street entertainment that feeds into the center of the city.

There are eight cruise terminals at Port Vell, divided into 3 locations:

Adossat Quay
Cruise Terminals A, B, C and D are located at the Adossat Quay and are the greatest distance from the city. Terminal D also has the name Palacruceros. Coaches make the quick trip from the cruise terminals to the start of Las Ramblas.

World Trade Center Terminals N, S
There are 2 terminals in the World Trade Center or WTC pier called North, and South. The East quay provides an extra facility. From these it is an short stroll to Las Ramblas.

Port Vell Quay
Across from the World Trade Center Terminal. This ferry terminal is sometimes used for cruise ships.

Each terrminal has its own taxi rank.

For the official port website see Barcelona Port.

Ibiza, a popular destination for cruises from Barcelona
Ibiza, a popular destination for cruises from Barcelona

Itineraries on Offer

Cruiselines offer a big range of itineraries. The most popular is a trip around the Western Mediterranean. Other ideas include the Canary Islands, North Africa, or longer trips to the Eastern Mediterranean and Greece. To find a cruise from Barcelona, a good website to start from is cruises from Barcelona.

The Sagrada Familia is probably Gaudi's most famous design and has been under construction since the 19th century and is still not finished
The Sagrada Familia is probably Gaudi's most famous design and has been under construction since the 19th century and is still not finished

Things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona needs a week to explore which is more than the single day cruise passengers normally get. Be sure to include well-known sights like La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's iconic church, the and medieval Barrio Gothic district, and the Pablo Picasso museum. To finish head up to Montjuic for a spectacular view of the city and the surrounding countryside and ocean.

Las Ramblas
An impressive promenade leading from Port Vell to Placa de Catalunya, right in the middle of of old Barcelona. It's lined with cafes, shops, florists, street performers, and Boqueria, a characterful food market. You'll pass by the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona's magnificent opera house. Las Ramblas ends at the Placa de Catalunya, a large plaza filled by shops, cafes and bars.

La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona's funkiest church was designed by the sedulous Antonio Gaudi. Work began in 1883, and the intriguing building is only now nearing completion. Don't miss features like the nativity theme of the frontage, the mosaic bell towers, and ornate doors representing faith, hope and charity.

Palau Guell
Gaudi fans will also enjoy Palau Guell, a sumptous almost kafkaesque late 19th century town house.

Barri Gotic
The Gothic Quarter has a characterful medieval feeling. The streets are winding and narrow and crammed with busy life. Don't miss the Museu Picasso, showcasing the works of Picasso. Also worth visiting is the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, a magnificent building with medieval architecture.

Parc Guell
Another profligate Gaudi design, Parc Guell is a pleasant town park. The plants are imaginative and colorful, but the real star is Gaudi's hard landscaping, likeornate temples and mosaic seats.

La Pedrera
Gaudí designed a fantastic house with undulating, lifelike forms for the property developer Pere Milà Camps. La Pedrera was Gaudi's last work before spending all his time to the Sagrada Família.

Barceloneta
Barceloneta is next to the port, and was at one time a fishing port. It's a pleasant neighborhood, with brightly colored houses and a nice beach. Gambling enthusiasts should make for the Gran Casino de Barcelona, which has slots, tables and disco.

Drassanes Metro station
Drassanes Metro station

Journeying To/From the Port of Barcelona

From the City to the Port

Walking
The World Trade Center terminals are the closest to the foot of La Rambla, being around a 10 minute walk. However the Adossat quay cruise ship terminals, A, B, C, D, are a larger distance and you would need to catch a shuttle bus called the Blue bus, this picks ups at the memorial to Christopher Columbus and drops off at Adossat dock.

Metro
The Drassanes stop (L3 Green Line) is around five minutes by foot from the Columbus statue.

Taxi
It's easy to catch a cab from Barcelona's center to the port. This is inexpensive, cost approximately eight euros, and speedy, generally under ten minutes. .

Travelling from the Airport to the Port

By public transport
Catch the Aerobusline A1 from terminal 1, line A2 from terminal 2 to Placa Catalunya in Barcelona, service every 10 mins, next catch the metro to Drassanes. From Drassanes walk to the statue of Christopher Columbus at the port entrance. Wait for the Blue bus which takes you to your cruise terminal.

Taxi
The best way for travelling from the airport to the docks is a taxi. The journey will take you about 25 mins and costs about 35 euros in total. This cost should include per-bag extras and additional airport and cruise port levies.

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