MSC Cruises to Sail Mini-Cruises from Spanish Port

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MSC Cruises has announced three new “mini cruises” designed for guests new to ocean voyages for this spring. The 5-day cruises will explore several popular Mediterranean destinations.

MSC Splendida Sailing Mini Cruises from Barcelona

MSC Splendida will host guests for three “mini cruises” this spring, sailing from Barcelona to longtime favorite spots in the Mediterranean.

The newly announced 5-day journeys depart the Spanish port on April 24, April 28, and May 2. Scheduled ports of call are Genoa in Italy and Marseille, France.

Highlights for guests on these shorter cruises include visits to the Genoa Aquarium, the second-largest aquarium in Europe, and tours of the fashion capital of Milan. In Marseille, guests can explore the charming French coast, including Aix-en-Provence, where the painter Cezanne found inspiration for many of his works, and the city of Cassis, with its local white and rosé wines.

In addition, a 3-night cruise aboard MSC Splendida departs Barcelona on May 6, 2024, with stops in Genoa and Rome. 

MSC Yacht Club Available for Newly Announced Cruises

MSC Splendida is a Fantasia-class ship that began service in 2009. She’s 137,900 gross tons with a guest capacity of 3,900. MSC Splendida is currently sailing short itineraries around South Africa from her homeport in Durban.

The ship features a wide range of restaurants, bars, and lounges, four swimming pools, a fitness center, a spa, and a performance venue that stages Broadway-style shows.

MSC Splendida Cruise Ship
MSC Splendida Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock)

MSC Spendida also offers the MSC Yacht Club, an exclusive area of the ship featuring suites with 24/7 butler service along with access to a private restaurant, pool, sundeck, and lounge.

More mini cruises are available from MSC Cruises later in 2024 on other vessels, including a 4-night cruise on MSC Seaside leaving Barcelona on April 29 and a 5-night cruise aboard MSC Grandiosa that departs Barcelona on October 22. In total, more than a dozen Mediterranean mini cruises are being offered in 2024.

Barcelona Thriving Despite Port Restrictions

The Port of Barcelona hosted about 3.1 million cruise guests in 2023, with an estimated 800 vessel calls made to the facility. The port is popular with MSC Cruises, one of the largest cruise lines in the world, but also one that attracts more guests from European countries. Several MSC Cruises ships homeport in Barcelona, including MSC Poesia, MSC Fantasia, and the flagship of the fleet, MSC World Europa.

Read Also: MSC Cruises Increasing Presence in Spain, With 500 Calls

Ships calling on Barcelona historically dock at the port’s northern and southern docks. The southern docks are home to the cruise terminal and are used by the larger ships operated by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and MSC Cruises.

MSC Cruises in Barcelona, Spain
Photo Credit: Atapialopez28 / Shutterstock

However, in October 2023, cruise ships were banned from using the northern docks, which were popular with guests thanks to its walking distance to La Rambla, a historic pedestrian area of Barcelona.

With the northern docks no longer available to ocean vessels, a 10-minute stroll to La Rambla is now a 30-minute trek.

Barcelona isn’t the only European city to restrict access to cruise ships. Venice, Santorini, and Amsterdam also have restrictions in place or in the works.

Meanwhile, Barcelona soon could have increased competition for cruise passengers in Spain. A new cruise terminal is being built at the Tarragona Cruise Port, a port just south of Barcelona. Guests visiting Tarragona can reach Barcelona by train or car in about an hour. Work on the terminal should be completed by spring 2024.

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