Money MattersNewssliderSpain



by Rose Maramba


The pandemic in Europe is easing off satisfactorily, allowing Spain to finally open up its ports to international cruise ships without unacceptable risk to the health of the Spaniards this 7th of June 2021. The ships have been banned from Spanish ports since March 2020 in conjunction with the general effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Cruise liners are part of Spain’s tourism sector. Which sector represents a sizeable chunk of GDP; in 2019, it was 12%. In importance, it is next only to the industrial and the business-banking sectors. (In terms of revenue, the tourism sector generated an all-time high of €9408 million in August 2019 and a record low of €0 million in April 2020. After a slight recovery in July and August 2020 – €2118 million and €2175 million respectively — revenues were down to €290 million in February 2021, the latest available figure. (Source: Trading Economics,

The 10 most popular cruise ports in Spain are the Ports of

  • The medieval Castle of Santa Barbara keeping watch over the Port of Alicante

    Alicante.  A 16th-century medieval castle stands sentinel over the Port of Alicante on the southeastern coast of the Mediterranean which has rapidly become one of the country’s most visited cruise destinations. Alicante is a historic port city in the Valencian Community. The city is the gateway to the 200-km Costa Blanca beach resort especially popular with British and German tourists.

  • Barcelona. It is also Europe’s busiest cruise port. AKA City of Gaudi, Barcelona has astonishing architecture and is the home of some of the greatest masters of contemporary art (Dalí, Miró, etc.). Usually, the first thing cruise passengers do upon disembarking at the port is visit the Sagrada Familia.
  • Bilbao. The obvious highlight of a day in Bilbao is the Guggenheim Museum. Besides, Bilbao provides a gateway to the beautiful Basque Country for cruise passengers.
  • Nothing like a sherry served by a venenciadora in Cadiz!

    Cadiz. Sherry anyone? Cadiz’s Jerez de la Frontera is the city that gave the world the famous fortified wine jerez (anglicized as sherry). Founded by the Phoenicians, Cadiz is the oldest inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest in Western Europe.
    Cadiz is only about one hour 30 min. to Seville whose Cathedral is the world’s biggest Gothic cathedral. Sevillanos claim their city is the most beautiful in the whole country. They’re probably not mistaken, as cruise passengers will find out for themselves if they go to Seville on a day trip from Cadiz.

  • Ibiza. Another super-popular cruise destination on the Mediterranea. Ibiza is one of the biggest tourist drawers in the Balearic Islands, the archipelago to which Mallorca belongs. By ferry it is only two hours away from Mallorca but pricier.
  • Las Palmas de Gran Canaria cruise terminal NZ7_5418

    Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, of the Canary Islands. This, the most popular port in the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is the indispensable destination of more than a million passengers of cruise ships and Transatlantic voyages every year.

  • Mahón. Mahón’s cruise port is a privileged port in that it is located in one of the longest natural harbors in the world: 5 km (3.1 mi) long and up to 900 meters (2,953 feet) wide. Mayonnaise is believed to have originated in Mahón.
    If for that alone, perhaps it is worth including Mahón to one’s cruise destinations. To cruise into the historic natural harbor of Mahón’s is to navigate one of the most spectacular port approaches of the whole Mediterranean region.
    Mahón is in Menorca, the second largest island in the Balearic archipelago, Mallorca being the largest.
  • Cruising into the Mediterranean’s 3rd most visited cruise port (i.e., Palma de Mallorca)

    Palma de Mallorca. The city of Palma de Mallorca, the “Pearl of the Mediterranean”, is the capital of the famous holiday island of Mallorca. Expectedly, its cruise port is the 3rd most visited in the entire Mediterranean region.

  • Valencia. It is Europe’s fifth busiest seaport and the first on the Mediterranean. As cruise port, it has been enjoying a sustained and solid growth.


  • Simply pintxo

    Vigo. One of the places where you’ll find the best seafood tapas is in Galicia, the autonomous region to which the Province of Pontevedra pertains. Vigo is a city in Pontevedra.
    Pintxo is northern Spain’s tapas skewered individually to a slice of bread. Galician wines pair off perfectly with the pintxos.
    Docked in Vigo, cruise passengers could make their stint memorable by doing the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago) capped at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. By train, Santiago de Compostela is less than an hour away.


Featured image/Kabacchi, CC BY2.0
Alicante/Diego Delso, CC BY-SA4.0
Sherry/Jesus Solana, CC BY2.0
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria cruise terminal/Bengt Nyman, CC BY2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Mallorca/LANOEL via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA3.0
Pintxos/Krista, CC BY2.0