The ports of Palamós and Roses, Costa Brava, Spain, end an excellent cruise ship season with 54 calls and over 51,000 passengers

The port of Palamós (Baix Empordà) and the port of Roses (Alt Empordà) have closed the 2018 cruise ship season with 54 calls and over 51,000 passengers, increasing calls by 17% and passenger numbers by 13% with respect to last year.

The estimated economic impact of cruise ship activity at the two Costa Brava ports has been €3.8 million. This figure is taken from a study on the sector which calculates that each passenger that disembarks spends an average of €62 and each crew member that disembarks spends €23. In addition, there is also the cost incurred by the cruise ships themselves for port services, which is €6 per passenger.

The port of Palamós’ leadership, the addition of the port of Roses, and the important role played by the tourist destination are key factors for cruise ship success on the Costa Brava. Cruise ship activity helps to de-seasonalise tourism and gives the province of Girona a socio-economic boost. The two ports and the tourist destination promote this sector under the Costa Brava Cruise Ports brand, which is formed by Ports de la Generalitat, the Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board, Palamós Local Council, Roses Local Council, Palamós Chamber of Commerce and Girona Chamber of Commerce.

Port of Palamós balance report

On Friday the port of Palamós closed a historic cruise ship season with 46 calls and 46,000 passengers, registering new records in stopovers and passenger numbers for the second consecutive year. In comparison with last season, calls have risen by 9% and passenger numbers by 7%. These results mean that Palamós has consolidated forty odd calls per year and has come close to reaching the figure of 50,000 passengers for the first time.

The 2018 cruise ship season started on 4th March and ended on 9th November. The months with the highest number of passengers were October, with 9,208 passengers, followed by May with 7,859 passengers. This highlights the increase in cruise ship tourists off season.

This year a total of 15 cruise ship lines visited Palamós, which is the result of a diversification strategy promoted by the port of Palamós. 53% of these companies were luxury cruise lines and 43% were standard.

In terms of nationality, tourist typology was 69% British, 13% American, 5% German, 3% Irish, 2% Australian,1% Belgian, 1%, Canadian and 6% assorted nationalities. It should be noted that British tourism increased by 19% in comparison with last year, thanks to Marella Cruises company, which made 17 cruise ship stopovers in Palamós. Once again, the British confirm their lead in the number of visitors to the Costa Brava.

The most popular excursions among cruise ship tourists were to Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar; Pals, Peratallada and Púbol; Girona; Figueres and the Dalí Museum; Platja d’Aro; and Empúries and Begur, among others.

Palamós welcomed five inaugural calls with the cruise ships Aidacara, Marella Dream, Marella Explorer, Seabourn Ovation and Viking Star.

As far as companies are concerned, it is worth noting the new arrival of American company Viking Cruises, the return of the Pullmantur cruise line, in addition to the renewed commitment of British company Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) and the retention of the luxury American Seabourn Cruise Lines. Also worthy of notice is the continuity of the luxury American cruise lines Oceania Cruises, Regent Seves Sea Cruises, Azamara Cruises and Windstar Cruises, the Norwegian Seadream Yacht Club and the German Aida Cruises.

Port of Roses balance report

The port of Roses closed the season with 8 calls and 5,200 passengers, setting an all-time record in passenger numbers, and these figures have positioned the port and the tourist destination firmly within the cruise ship industry. In comparison with last season, the port doubled the number of calls and has more than doubled passenger numbers.

The cruise ship season lasted six months, starting on 6th May and finishing on 24th October, meaning that cruise ship activity was longer this year.
In terms of nationalities, tourist typology was 78% British, 4% French, 3% American, 2% Australian, 2% Irish, 1% Canadian, 1% Belgian and 9% of assorted nationalities.

Excursions made by cruise ship tourists were to Cadaqués; Figueres and the Dalí Museum; Girona; Banyoles and Besalú; Peralada; Begur; and L’Escala and Empúries, among others.

This year, Roses welcomed 6 cruise lines, 50% luxury and 50% standard lines, maintaining the same percentages as the previous season. It is worth noting the return of the Seadream Yacht Club company, with cruise ship Seadream I, for the second year running, and the loyalty of American company Oceania, a familiar sight on the Costa Brava.

The port of Roses hosted two inaugural calls: the luxury cruise ship Sirena, belonging to American company Oceania Cruises, and the standard cruise ship Marella Spirit.