Barcelona Cracks Down on Cruise Ships in City Centre

/

cruise ship barcelona

Last Updated on December 27, 2023 by Rikki

Barcelona, Europe’s busiest cruise port, is taking a stand against overtourism and pollution by cracking down on cruise ships in its city centre. Starting this month, new rules will be enforced, including a stricter daily cap of seven cruise ships and the closure of the city’s Muelle Barcelona Norte northern docks and the World Trade Centre.

Instead, cruise ships will be redirected to the Moll d’Adossat pier, which is a 30-minute shuttle bus ride away from the city centre. Barcelona’s move follows the footsteps of other European cities like Venice and Palma, showing a growing trend of limiting cruise ship access to protect local residents and preserve the environment.

YouTube player

Background

Barcelona is implementing new rules and regulations for cruise ships in an effort to address the negative impacts of overtourism and pollution. As Europe’s busiest cruise port, welcoming over 2.7 million passengers per year, Barcelona is taking steps to limit the number of cruise ships entering its city centre.

These new measures include the closure of the city centre cruise docks, the establishment of a new location for cruise ships, and the implementation of a daily cap on the number of cruise ships allowed.

Barcelona’s new rules for cruise ships

Barcelona has decided to close its city centre cruise docks to mitigate the negative effects of the cruise industry. This means that large cruise ships will no longer be allowed to dock at the Muelle Barcelona Norte northern docks or the World Trade Centre.

Instead, they will be directed to stop at the Moll d’Adossat pier, which is located south of the city centre. While this new location is a 30-minute shuttle bus ride away from the city centre, it is a necessary measure to reduce the congestion and disruption caused by cruise ships in the heart of Barcelona.

Reasons for limiting cruise ships

The decision to limit cruise ships in Barcelona is driven by several factors. Firstly, the city has been grappling with issues of pollution and overtourism, impacting the quality of life for its residents. Barcelona was ranked as the worst cruise port for air pollution in Europe, according to a study by the Transport & Environment NGO group.

Furthermore, the short duration of many cruise ship stops in Barcelona, often just four hours, means that the economic benefits for the city are limited. These factors have led Barcelona to recognize the need for stricter regulations and measures to protect its environment, residents, and overall sustainability.

Changes in Barcelona

Barcelona is implementing significant changes to its cruise ship policies in order to address the negative impacts of overtourism and pollution. These changes include the closure of city centre cruise docks, the establishment of a new location for cruise ships, and the enforcement of a daily cap on the number of cruise ships allowed.

Closure of city centre cruise docks

One of the major changes being implemented in Barcelona is the closure of the city centre cruise docks. Previously, large cruise ships were able to dock at the Muelle Barcelona Norte northern docks and the World Trade Centre.

However, in an effort to reduce congestion and disruption in the city centre, these docks will no longer be available for cruise ships. This is a significant step towards creating a more sustainable and livable city for residents and visitors alike.

New location for cruise ships

To accommodate the cruise ships that are no longer allowed to dock in the city centre, Barcelona has designated a new location for them. Cruise ships will now be directed to stop at the Moll d’Adossat pier, which is located south of the Catalonian capital.

Although this new location requires a 30-minute shuttle bus ride to reach the city centre, it is a necessary measure to alleviate the impact of cruise ship traffic in Barcelona’s heavily congested areas.

Daily cap on cruise ships

In addition to the closure of city centre cruise docks and the establishment of a new location, Barcelona is also enforcing a daily cap on the number of cruise ships allowed. Previously, up to 10 cruise ships were permitted to dock in Barcelona each day.

However, with the new regulations, this number will be reduced to a maximum of seven cruise ships per day. This stricter cap is intended to mitigate the negative effects of overtourism and alleviate the burden on the city’s infrastructure and resources.

Impact on Barcelona

The changes being implemented in Barcelona’s cruise ship policies are expected to have a significant impact on the city. These changes are aimed at reducing pollution, addressing issues of overtourism, and transforming certain areas into public spaces.

Reducing pollution and overtourism

Barcelona has long been grappling with issues of pollution and overtourism, primarily driven by the presence of large cruise ships. By closing the city centre cruise docks, redirecting ships to a new location, and enforcing a daily cap, Barcelona hopes to reduce the environmental impact of these ships and alleviate the strain on the city’s infrastructure. This will lead to cleaner air, less congestion, and a more sustainable tourism industry.

Transformation of north wharf into public spaces

The closure of the city centre cruise docks presents an opportunity for Barcelona to transform the north wharf into new public spaces. The Port of Barcelona plans to develop the 630 meters of quay line previously occupied by cruise ships into 13,600 square meters of public spaces. This will provide residents and visitors with additional recreational areas and enhance the overall livability of the city.

Investment in electrifying the Adossat wharf

To further reduce pollution and the environmental impact of cruise ships, the Port of Barcelona is investing €80 million in electrifying the Adossat wharf. This initiative will ensure that ships berthed at the port no longer produce emissions, contributing to a cleaner and greener Barcelona.

Other Ports Limiting Cruise Ships

Barcelona is not the only city taking measures to limit the presence of cruise ships. Several other ports across Europe have implemented similar restrictions and regulations to address the negative impacts associated with the cruise industry.

Palma’s limit on ships

The Spanish city of Palma implemented a limit of three cruise ships per day, with only one ship allowed to carry more than 5,000 passengers. This measure aims to control the number of cruise ship arrivals and mitigate the challenges of overtourism.

Venice’s ban on large cruise ships

Venice, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, banned large cruise ships from anchoring in its historic centre in 2021. This decision was made due to concerns about the environmental and structural damage caused by these ships to the city and its fragile lagoon ecosystem.

Marseille’s concerns about air pollution

The mayor of Marseille, France’s largest cruise port, has spoken out against the cruise industry, citing concerns about air pollution and its impact on the city. Similar sentiments have been expressed in other French cities, such as Douarnenez, Brittany, where protests have taken place to express opposition to the cruise industry.

Protests and Opposition

The implementation of new rules and restrictions on cruise ships has not been without opposition and protests. Various cities and destinations have experienced protests and voiced concerns about the negative impacts of cruise tourism.

Protests in Douarnenez, Brittany

In Douarnenez, Brittany, protesters recently greeted cruise passengers with cries of “shame on you!” and “you are not welcome.” This demonstration highlights the growing opposition to the cruise industry and its impact on local communities.

Restrictions in Amsterdam, Santorini, and Dubrovnik

Other popular tourist destinations, such as Amsterdam, Santorini, and Dubrovnik, have also tightened restrictions on cruise companies in recent years. These cities recognize the need to prioritize the well-being of their residents and protect their cultural and environmental heritage.

Conclusion

Barcelona’s efforts to limit cruise ships in its city centre exemplify its commitment to sustainable tourism. By implementing new rules and regulations, Barcelona aims to reduce pollution, mitigate overtourism, and create a more livable city for its residents.

The closure of city centre cruise docks, the establishment of a new location for cruise ships, and the enforcement of a daily cap demonstrate Barcelona’s proactive approach to addressing the negative impacts of the cruise industry. These efforts align with the actions taken by other ports and cities, highlighting a growing trend towards more sustainable and responsible tourism practices.

While these measures may have implications for the cruise industry, they ultimately contribute to the long-term well-being of Barcelona and other popular tourist destinations.


Hi, I’m Rikki

I’m a passionate author and blogger, sharing my thoughts and experiences on life and travel.

Car Rental Deals 300x250 300*250 300*250 EN V.2 Speak any language like a native! 41 languages, real conversations, practical topics. Start now! Lingoda