This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Spring/Summer 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
Founded by the Carthaginians around 220 B.C., Cartagena is the second oldest city in Spain and makes a memorable port of call on any cruise itinerary. The city flourished during the Roman era and has played a key role in Spain’s naval and other industries since the 16th century. Cruise visitors can experience the city’s rich history by exploring coastal fortifications, castles and batteries, as well as the Roman Theatre and Museum. Cartagena is also close to Caravaca de la Cruz, the world’s fifth Holy City.
Cruise lines calling at Cartagena’s clean and safe terminal, which is 400 metres from the city centre, can find shore excursions to suit every guest. They are developed by the port authority with the help of various local and national stakeholders to ensure that every cruise call runs smoothly.
Current bestsellers include the ‘Trolley Train’ city tour; the ‘Tapas Trail’ where guests visit a tourist attraction and then enjoy tapas tastings at different venues; and ‘La Manga del Mar Menor’, where they visit the saltwater lagoon separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a 22-metre-long strip of land. Another popular tour is the ‘Spanish Horse’ excursion, where guests head to a traditional ranch to learn about the horses, watch a Sevillanas performance and sample local wine and tapas.
This year, the port authority aims to further enhance the cruise guest experience by remodelling a building on the Alfonso XII promenade to host various types of establishments and a top-floor restaurant.
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