Americans, Spanish and British are the main cruise-goers visiting Barcelona
According to the Port of Barcelona’s Study on the Nationalities of Cruise Passengers, which analyses the origin of the 2.6 million passengers in 2013, Americans, Spanish and British are the top three groups of passengers on cruises that include Barcelona within their itinerary.
17% of passengers starting and ending their cruise or stopping over in Barcelona come from the United States; 16.5% from Spain; and 13.5% from the UK. They are followed closely by Italians (11%), French (7.5%), who have recently increased their numbers at our Port, and Germans (6.5%). There has been a general increase in passengers from other parts of Europe, especially Scandinavia.
Cruise tourism in Barcelona is also attracting new nationalities, such as Latin Americans (2.5%) and passengers from the Far East (2%). Moreover, the increase in Russian tourists to the city can also be seen in the number of Russian cruise passengers, which now comprise 1.5% of the total, a figure that has increased over the last five years.
This large number of passengers from so many different countries is helping to break the seasonal nature of the cruise industry, which in the Mediterranean tends to be concentrated during the warmer months of the year (April-October). For example, American tourists often spread their holidays over the year, allowing them to travel outside the peak season. In fact, more and more shipping companies are now offering itineraries from Barcelona twelve months a year, making it possible to organise cruises all year round. In this connection, the company NCL has announced that the Norwegian Epic will be plying the Mediterranean with itineraries starting and ending in Barcelona throughout 2015.
Barcelona is the leading cruise port in Europe and the Mediterranean and is number four worldwide, preceded only by the three major Florida ports. In 2011, Barcelona broke its record, with a total of 2.65 million passengers, an achievement it matched again in 2013. This year the Port faces two major challenges: Barcelona will host the Seatrade Med Cruise Convention from 16 to 18 September, which is the sector’s most important event in the Mediterranean region; then, also in September, it will be home to Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, the largest ship in the world. In September, Barcelona will be the turnaround port for this ship, which had operated only in the Caribbean until now.