In 2017, more cruise ships are set to visit the ports of Palamós and Roses on Spain’s Costa Brava coastline
This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
Located on Spain’s western coast, the Costa Brava is a hub of tourism and Mediterranean culture. In 2017, the ports of Palamós and Roses are set to welcome more cruise passenger than ever before to see what the region has to offer.
In 2016, the regional port authority invested €200,000 (US$212,000) to expand the Palamós passenger terminal in order to house new facilities and improve customer service. This was done as part of Costa Brava Cruise Ports’ aim to continuously improve facilities and services at Palamós and Roses and, as a result, boost cruise ship activity.
Why are so many people visiting the Costa Brava? The region has a diverse offering spanning excellent gastronomy, golf, cultural heritage and wine that appeals to a wide range of tastes. It is also something of a gateway to surrealist art. Both ports are close to artistic landmarks connected to the painter Salvador Dalí – the Dalí Museum in Figueres and Gala Dalí House-Museum in Púbol.
The cruise industry in the region has been strengthened by a number of new lines selecting Palamós and Roses as ports of call. In 2016, Roses hosted Saga Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Noble Caledonia for the first time, with the liners Saga Pearl II, Silver Cloud and Serenissima making maiden calls. Palamós hosted maiden calls from Phoenix Reisen’s Artania, Oceania Cruises’ Nautica, Saga Sapphire, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Navigator and Seven Seas Explorer, Thomson Cruises’ Thomson Majesty and TUI Discovery. All in all, Palamós and Roses welcomed 37 ship calls and 25,600 passengers in 2016.
For the upcoming season, there are high expectations for both ports, with a combined 47 calls scheduled and around 45,000 passengers expected. Roses will host seven calls and 6,500 passengers, which would break all passenger number records for the port.
Meanwhile, Palamós will receive 40 calls and 38,000 passengers, which again would be a record for the port. Seven of these calls will be maiden visits – namely P&O Oriana, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAaura, Seven Seas Voyager, Oceania Cruises’ Sirena, Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sun and Noble Caledonia’s Island Sky.
To help accommodate this growth, Costa Brava Cruise Ports has created a 2017 investment plan. In-port signage has also been improved to assist cruise passengers who want to reach the town on foot.
As Palamós has a natural draught of 14 metres and 536 metres of alongside berthing, it can host a diverse range of cruise ships, from luxury liners to mid-sized ships. Cruise companies have the opportunity to call at Palamós and anchor at Roses. Furthermore, Roses and Palamós can form part of cruise itineraries that go to the French Riviera, the Balearic Islands and northern Italy. Both ports are conveniently located halfway between Barcelona and Marseille, which helps ships save on fuel.
Together, the two ports are helping to increase the attraction for cruise ships to visit the Costa Brava.