The top brass from Global Ports Holding (GPH) paid a visit to the Tarragona Cruise Port, in Spain, where a new cruise terminal is under construction. Work on the facility began in June 2023 at the port’s Balears Wharf, which can accommodate four cruise ships simultaneously.
Tarragona Cruise Port Receives First Set of Modules
The Chairman and CEO of Global Ports Holding, Mehmet Kutman, arrived at the Port of Tarragona on December 19, 2023 to check out the ongoing construction of a $6 million cruise terminal.
The management firm, which in 2022 received a 12-year contract to run the port, had announced plans to build a new, sustainable facility from modules pre-assembled in Almería, Spain, a city some 400 miles away.
Kutman, along with Javier Rodríguez, GPH’s West Med and Asia Regional Director, met with local officials including Alba Colet, Commercial Manager of Tarragona Cruise Port, Saül Garreta, President of the Port Authority of Tarragona (APT), Ramon García, General Director of APT, Genoveva Climent, Commercial and Business Development Director at APT, and Carles Segura, Infrastructure Director at APT.
The executives found that construction is proceeding at the Almería warehouse and Balears Wharf, where the foundation supporting the manufactured modules is now finished. The terminal’s first six modules are completed and were transferred to the wharf earlier in December 2023, and all 28 modules are on schedule to be delivered to the site by mid-January.
Work is ongoing to complete a metal structure to hold the modules in place, along with a metal roof, both of which are being built on-site. After all of the modules are delivered and installed, the finished terminal will feature embarkation and debarkation facilities, plus a cafeteria, retail spaces, restrooms, and other service areas.
Final interior designs are expected to be completed by April 30, 2024, at which time it is likely the port will schedule a grand opening event.
“Global Ports takes pride in the achievements so far and looks forward to the successful completion of this flagship project in the cruise industry,” a statement from Global Ports Holding said.
The cruise terminal design includes advanced security measures as well as accessible spaces to accommodate cruise guests with reduced mobility. Additionally, its design provides flexibility for expansion as market demand grows, and has eco-friendly features such as solar energy.
Port’s Location is Near UNESCO World Heritage Site
Located roughly an hour from Barcelona by train or car, the port is well-positioned for excursions to the Mediterranean city. However, Tarragona itself is a cultural treasure, due to its Roman Empire-era heritage and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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The new cruise terminal is not the only recent upgrade to the Tarragona port. In 2022, it underwent a $32 million upgrade involving various port infrastructure projects, with the port authority investing in shoreside power installations that will reduce emissions from docked ships.
Cruise ship arrivals data for 2023 is not yet available, but the Tarragona Cruise Port welcomed 35 ships and 64,470 cruise guests in 2022. In pre-pandemic 2019, it saw 63 cruise ship visits and 128,089 cruisers.
MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, and Oceania Cruises are among the major lines that utilized the port in 2023. Luxury ships such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 490-guest Seven Seas Navigator and 706-guest Seven Seas Voyager also called at Tarragona in 2023.
MSC Cruises, in fact, added more Spanish ports to its itineraries in 2023 versus previous years.
The line’s port call schedule reflected a 23% increase in visits to Spanish ports, making more than 500 calls to destinations including Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Malaga, Cádiz, and Tarragona.
Guests aboard cruise ships that call at Tarragona can take advantage of shore excursions to Barcelona, or travel there independently by train, but the city has much to offer in its own right. Among the top sites are Roman ruins, such as the 2nd-century Amphitheater Roma, Roman tombs, and Roman ramparts that offer views of the city.