Barcelona has banned cruise ships from one of the two cruise terminals in the city centre. This move comes in a bid to reduce overcrowding and over-tourism, as well as pollution.

Starting in October, the closure is estimated to impact about 340 cruise ship and ferry calls.

The ships will be redirected from the North Terminal at the World Trade Center to Adossat Wharf. At a 30-minute journey by road, it is the furthest cruise pier from Barcelona’s city centre.

Cruise ships were originally allowed to call at the main terminal of the Port of Barcelona, which was just a 10-minute walk into the city centre.

However, more changes are set to come into effect. The South Terminal set to be closed by the end of 2026.

Currently there is space for 10 cruise ships to dock in Barcelona at once. From October 22 there will only be room for seven.

Port of Barcelona President Lluís Salvadó said that closing the terminal will help “eliminate the negative externalities” the city associated with cruise tourism.

The port says the closure will open up more than 13,600 square metres of public spaces for residents.  

The changes come off the back of a 2018 council agreement to regulate cruise ship activity.

Salvado said: “The closure of the Barcelona northern docks for cruise operations is a new step to comply with the agreement signed in 2018 with the Barcelona municipal government to eliminate the negative impact that this activity could produce for citizens.

“This is a clear demonstration that the Port of Barcelona complies with the agreement.”

Barcelona has also previously implemented a tax on cruise ship passengers. 

While Venice has banned cruise ships from its historic centre in a well-publicised move, other cities around Europe such as Marseille, and other cities around the world like Monterey Bay, California and Juneau, Alaska are also considering, or in the process of, implementing restrictions on cruise ships. 

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