Record Traffic at Popular Repositioning Cruise Port

The Spanish port of Cádiz saw cruise ship calls soar 15%, and passenger counts rose an astonishing 72% in 2023.

Another Spanish port is reporting record cruise line passenger traffic in 2023. Cruise ships paid 347 stops to Cádiz last year, lifting overall traffic for the eighth consecutive year. The news comes the same week that a highly sustainable ship from MSC Cruises pays a maiden call.

Passenger Traffic at Cádiz Up 72%

Located on the southern coast of Spain, the Port of Cádiz Bay saw ship calls soar 15%, and passenger counts rose an astonishing 72% in 2023, port officials reported on January 11.

Ships made 357 calls to the port while accommodating 679,765 passengers. The news comes as another southern port in Spain, Alicante, reported record traffic in 2023.

Cádiz is located near the Strait of Gibraltar, which makes it an ideal port of call for cruise ships repositioning between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Among the cruise lines paying regular visits to Cádiz are Cunard Lines, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, P&O Cruises, Saga Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Marella Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Aida Cruises, Star Clipper Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises and more. 

Founded 3,000 years ago and believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Western Europe, Cádiz has been ruled by the Roman Empire and the Moors over its history. That diversity still shows in the city’s architecture – a mix of Italian plazas and contrasting bright-colored Moorish venues.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas (Photo Copyright: Jarp2)

Cádiz is no stranger to cruise ships. It is a popular spot for ships to have repairs done during dry docking. The Navantia Shipyard is one of the largest repair facilities in Europe. Among its regular visitors are ships from Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Disney Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Royal Caribbean’s brand-new Icon of the Seas, which recently began sailings from Miami, made a planned visit to Navantia in December 2023 for a final round of inspections and tweaks.

MSC Euribia Pays First Visit to Cádiz

On January 15, Cádiz became a boarding port for MSC Cruises’ most sustainable ship, MSC Euribia. That ship, propelled by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), set sail on a 13-night voyage to Northern Europe. 

Read Also: LNG Cruise Ship: Top Pros and Cons

Stops on the voyage include the cities of Casablanca, Funchal (Madiera), the Canary Island locales of Gran Canaria, Arrecife, and Tenerife, along with calls to Lisbon and Southampton before concluding in Hamburg, Germany.

MSC Euribia in Cadiz, Spain
MSC Euribia in Cadiz, Spain

“This new boarding marks a milestone between Cádiz and the shipping company,” said Fernando Pacheco, general director of MSC Cruises in Spain. “For us, it is a luxury to be able to announce that passengers have the possibility of boarding from here, one of the most iconic points in our country.”

Cádiz recently expanded its cruise terminal to 14,000 square feet. Facilities include an open hall for guest check-in, a luggage story area, tourist information desks, free WiFi, and souvenir stands.

New Ship Includes Larger Shopping and Kid Entertainment Zones

MSC Euribia has been touted as the most energy-efficient cruise ship to sail. Among its features are advanced wastewater treatment and a cutting-edge waste management system. 

She is the second MSC Cruises ship powered by liquefied natural gas, following MSC World Europa. MSC Euribia was delivered to the cruise line on May 31, 2023, after two years of construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France.

MSC Euribia Sea Trials
Photo Credit: City of Saint-Nazaire – Christian Robert

MSC Euribia carries 6,334 guests and boasts one of the largest shopping centers at sea, with 13,700 square feet of retail space. The ship also has boosted its offerings to younger passengers. More than 7,500 square feet of space is dedicated to fun and educational events for children. 

Among the options are Drone Academy 2.0, a high-tech relay race involving drones, and virtual reality. Sports options include soccer, basketball, pickleball, and hoverboarding. Kid club hours also have been expanded from 9 a.m. to midnight.

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