The Port of Barcelona expects 158,000 passengers in 2015 for the world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, which will sail 25 times from the Spanish city.
"The choice of Barcelona as a base for the Allure of the Seas for the entire 2015 season is a challenge for the large scale of operations that the ship will be making, but it also helps to consolidate Barcelona as the leader in the European and Mediterranean cruise sector," said Sixte Cambra, president of Barcelona Port Authority.
Passengers are expected to spend €17.5 million in the city according to the latest study from Barcelona Tourist Board, which has calculated that cruise passengers on turnarounds spend an average of €113. Wealth creation also includes business generated by ship supplies (food, fuel, water and all kinds of consumer products); services and port fees; the benefit in tourist terms of bringing passengers to Barcelona from all over the world; and the positive impact it has on the international image of the capital of Catalonia.
Cambra pointed out that Barcelona is the only Mediterranean port with appropriate facilities to handle large-scale operations for vessels such as the Allure, with more than 12,000 passengers embarking and disembarking daily. Terminals B and C, managed by Creuers del Port de Barcelona (Port of Barcelona Cruises) and located on Adossat wharf, will provide service to the Royal Caribbean vessel simultaneously.
Cambra stressed that Barcelona is well prepared to host these operations thanks to infrastructure investments valued at over €100 million undertaken in recent years by the port and private operators, but also thanks to the professionalism of the port community and all the stakeholders associated with the cruise industry in the city.
"The international terminals run by the Port of Barcelona Cruises are especially functional and have been designed to suit the needs of the market in terms of the size and capacity of ships. Therefore we are well equipped to handle large-scale embarking and disembarking operations with the highest levels of safety, security and efficiency," he added.
Last year, the Port of Barcelona received a total of 2.6 million passengers, an increase of 8% year on year and equal to the record high of 2011. Nearly 60% of passengers were on turnarounds.
The Allure of the Seas is scheduled to arrive in Barcelona in May 2015, and will operate there until mid-October. During that time, she will sail mostly seven-night cruises visiting Palma de Mallorca, Marseille, La Spezia (Florence- Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples.
Royal Caribbean has been operating at the Port of Barcelona since 1996, when the company brought its Splendour of the Seas.