Barcelona Cruising to Success
In a year that has seen the number of visitors to Catalonia drop by 12 percent (curse that economic crisis!), at least one success story has sailed into the local press of late. Barcelona Metropolitan magazine reported this autumn that the number of cruise passengers shipping through the city has increased by 18 percent, on the back of a similar size rise in 2008. In fact Barcelona is now the busiest cruise port in Europe and fifth largest in the world, with up to ten ships docking a day. Barcelona Reporter recently run a similar article announcing that the record for number of cruise passengers disembarking in a single day had been broken - with 26,000 tourists arriving at once from 8 different ships.
With the completion of a new terminal in 2008, which can handle the biggest ships on the high seas, Barcelona is set to continue to profit from the rising popularity of cruise tourism. This form of travel is prospering, despite the general economic downturn, thanks to lower prices making what was once considered an upmarket option affordable to a much wider range of people.