The Barcelona North dock, the closest to the city, bid farewell to cruise ship traffic with the departure of the last cruise ship on October 3. The Port of Barcelona will soon open this area to the public once the Copa del América event finishes next year.
Closure of Barcelona North Pier for cruises
The Port of Barcelona president, Llus Salvadó, announced that the closure of the Barcelona North dock and the Drassanes terminal will allow for the integration of 630 linear meters from the end of Las Ramblas into the city's landscape. The closure of the North dock saw the departure of a final cruise ship with a capacity of 200 passengers, in stark contrast to the thousands of tourists transported by the ships from the attached dock located three kilometers further south. This dock currently sees the majority of tourist boat activity.
Starting October 22, Barcelona's historic center will no longer be a destination for cruise or ferry stops as the dock is set to close. This means nearly 340 cruise stops will be eliminated, allowing for open space for citizens and leisure. The Barcelona North pier, located near the World Trade Center with views of Barcelona's Port Vell and the statue of Columbus at the end of Las Ramblas, will be freed up after decades of cruise activity. This accommodates Sailing America's Cup preparations, starting in August 2024.
Once the sailing competition is over, the port will begin transforming the space into a new promenade that will benefit Barcelona. The plan is to turn the distance from a commercial area to a place with a "citizen character," as defined by Salvadó. The Barcelona South dock, located near the World Trade Center, will remain active for now, but the Port of Barcelona plans to close it in 2025, dismantling all cruise ship docks near the city.
Concentration of cruise activity on the attached dock
Salvadó has emphasized that cruise ships will dock in the attached dock of the Port of Barcelona, in the terminals under construction and those already in operation. Salvadó has mentioned that the modern services offered by these terminals are much better than the old docks closed now. He added that this move will help reduce pollution that reaches the city by shifting it towards the south.
According to a study published by the Transport & Environment organization in June 2022, the port of Barcelona had the highest pollution rate in Europe due to the large number of cruise ships that docked.