Visitors to Tarragona can watch locals participate in traditions like the spectacular human towers
This article was first published in the 2019 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
The Port of Tarragona is quickly consolidating its position as a Mediterranean cruise port. With more than 60 vessels and over 100,000 passengers visiting in 2019, the port will end this year with its best figures since it committed to positioning itself as an attractive destination for cruise ships. That’s quite a record, especially compared to the figures of just three or four years ago.
This success is the result of the tireless work of the Cruise Committee, a model of governance that has successfully brought together Tarragona and Reus city councils, the Tarragona Provincial Government, PortAventura, the hotel sector and local tourism businesses to define and manage leisure offerings and tourism attractions for cruise ship passengers. The Port of Tarragona’s involvement goes well beyond that of a normal Mediterranean port of call; it coordinates all the local tourism agents to create a portfolio of itineraries that combine scenery, culture, gastronomy and leisure.
Located 15 minutes from Reus Airport and 55 minutes from Barcelona Airport, the city of Tarragona, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is worth visiting for at least one day on any cruise holiday. The southern Catalan city combines the archaeological heritage of Roman Tarraco, the flavours of Mediterranean seafood and the culture and traditions of Catalonia. Highlights for cruise guests include the spectacular human towers and the popular Sant Magí and Santa Tecla festivals.
Tarragona also offers easy access to other destinations on the Costa Daurada. Only 10 kilometres away is the city of Reus, which stands out for its streets full of fashionable boutiques, modernist architectural heritage and many other cultural attractions. On the coast, the resorts of Salou, La Pineda and Cambrils compete to offer the best beaches and services for cruise guests who want sun, sea and sand. A little farther inland, cruise guests can find the essence of the Costa Daurada in the wines of Priorat and the peace of Poblet Monastery, which has a mausoleum of the monarchs of Aragon.
A whole range of tourism and cultural attractions located within a radius of just 40 kilometres makes the Port of Tarragona an appealing prospect as a cruise destination. Tarragona Cruise Port Costa Daurada has also worked hard to position itself as one of the most attractive of the Spanish cruise ports and aims to grow further in the coming years.
To prove its commitment to cruise tourism, the port invested in opening the new Tarragona Cruise Port Costa Daurada Welcome Centre in 2019. It has also spent €30 million (US$38.7 million) to construct a new dock – the Balears Wharf – which will be able to receive a greater number of cruise ships in optimum conditions. In addition, the Port of Tarragona is developing its infrastructure to improve port operations, the services it can offer to cruise operators, and the comfort and convenience for the passengers as they see for themselves the unique attractions the Costa Daurada has to offer.
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