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, www.tradinggeconomics.com/spain/tourism-revenues.)
The 10 most popular cruise ports in Spain are the Ports of
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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