Tarragona places itself on the Mediterranean cruise map

Tarragona has already exceeded this year’s targets for attracting cruises and passenger numbers, and the port is looking forward to sustained growth in the future

Tarragona places itself on the Mediterranean cruise map
Passenger numbers have increased every year since 2014 at Tarragona Cruise Port Costa Daurada

This article was first published in the Itinerary Planning Special Report International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Making Tarragona a regular stopover for Mediterranean cruises is one of the most serious and most ambitious goals the Port of Tarragona has set itself over the past six years. The Tarragona Cruise Port Costa Daurada brand was created in 2014 and its results have improved every year since then.

At the end of the 2017 season, the forecasts for 2018 estimated a 49% increase in passenger numbers, with a total of 55 cruises and 80,000 cruise passengers. However, these optimistic figures will actually fall short of the mark as, at the time of writing (mid-August) 37 cruise liners had already docked in the port and 64,700 passengers have discovered the diversity and cultural beauty that make the city of Tarragona and the Costa Daurada so unique.

One reason behind the excellent figures forecast was the decision of Costa Cruises, which uses Tarragona for partial turnaround, to replace its 1,700-guest Costa neoRiviera with the 2,394-passenger Costa Victoria. An average of 450 passengers embark with every call of the Costa Victoria.

As of now, the forecasts for 2019 are even more encouraging than those for 2018. Costa Cruises has announced regular stopovers for two ships for the coming year. One of them is the aforementioned Costa neoRiviera, which will begin the season on 8 May next year and operate a 11-day schedule. The other is Costa Fortuna, a vessel with a capacity for approximately 3,400 passengers, which will begin the season on 26 May and offer seven-day voyages. With these figures from Costa Cruises, together with forecasts from other lines, we anticipate significant growth in terms of both vessels and passenger numbers for the 2019 season.

The joint work undertaken by the Port of Tarragona and Costa Cruises is a clear example of a bold and auspicious strategy that aims to make the city one of the most important cruise locations in the Mediterranean. Among our leading priorities is to encourage a model of sustainable tourism, which emphasises environmental and ecological monitoring, and highlight the cultural, gastronomic and leisure opportunities offered by the Costa Daurada.

The commitment made by Costa Cruises with respect to Tarragona is an essential part of the cruise project, however other cruise lines that provide added value, such as the premium and deluxe operators, must also be taken into account. These companies have chosen Tarragona’s shores as they consider them to be ideal for their clients. Its coastal area provides high satisfaction levels in terms of its cultural offer, its picturesque countryside and its gastronomic and scenic wealth.

In short, the future of Tarragona Cruise Port Costa Daurada looks promising and all forecasts point to sustained growth in both cruises and passenger numbers. 

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
20 December 2018

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