BARCELONA SHORE EXCURSIONS
Should you book a private tour instead of one of the cruise tours?
We believe private tours can give you a far better experience than any group tour. Cruise group tours are usually crowded and their itineraries are rushed. A private tour gets you to cover much more ground in the same amount of time, at your own pace and with a custom design.
But just let our guests share their point of view:
Ishootpar (Normal, Illinois, USA)We just arrived back in the States from our cruise and tour with Marta. Our travel group of four adults decided to go against the grain of using the cruise line and hire a private operator to take us around Barcelona on a six hour tour, for the free day we had. What a great decision that turned out to be. Marta and her driver took us in a private van to all the most wonderful places and we felt she went beyond our expectations in providing her services to us. What a wonderful experience!
James W (Meridian, Mississippi, USA)As a first time visitor to Barcelona having a guide was a necessity. Since our group of 4 was on a cruise we had to decide on either the ship’s excursions or try something on our own. We choose ForeverBarcelona and it was absolutely the correct decision.
For us, first time visitors to anywhere in Europe the prospects of foreign cities can overwhelm and make for a bit of nervousness! Absolutely, Begoña erased all of these feelings and we would spend our time with her again.
Jennifer AWe were in port for only a day in Barcelona and wanted to include Sagrada Familia and experience a bit of Barcelona and try some local tapas and sangria. We’d had one official cruise excursion already and it was pretty mediocre. So this was light years better. We were assigned Miriam and she was fantastic – just perfect relaxed, knowledgeable, good humored, a bit wicked (we ended up buying lots of chocolate!) and our driver was absolutely lovely too.
Our son is 6’7” so being crammed in a coach is never comfortable for him so this roomy immaculate people mover was fantastic. Miriam as very flexible and accommodating and with the private tour we were able to pace things exactly as we wanted and it was worth every euro.
You need to know...
Either you are in a short stopover in Barcelona, longer overnight cruise stay, or you are embarking or disembarking from your cruise, if it’s your first time in the city or if you have already been here before, we can help you taking the most out of your time in Barcelona.
But before starting to plan your Barcelona shore excursions, here are a few points you need to consider so you can to organize your stopover in Barcelona efficiently:
Unlike Rome, for instance, the cruise piers in Barcelona are right in the city. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to walk from your ship to the city sites. Although in some cases, you might.
There are two main areas:
This is where most cruise ships anchor, specially the large ones such as Costa, Celebrity, MSC, Viking, Norwegian, Royal Caribean and Tui Mein Schiff. To get to this pier you must cross the Porta Europa rising bridge, and while it hardly ever rises anymore (thus making you waste some precious time unexpectedly), walking accross it and then along some port streets all the way to “the real city” takes… 30 minutes under the sun, as there is no shade.
There will be taxis waiting outside of the ship, but lines can be long and we don’t want all this time to be wasted from your tour. This is why we don’t offer pier pick-up if you are booking a walking tour. Instead, chauffeured tours work great because the ride across the bridge is quickly done if you have a private driver.
MOLL DE BARCELONA (Also known as World Trade Center pier)
This is where the smaller ships dock: Silver, Azamara, Seabourn, MS Berlin, Grand Circle and most Windstar. This pier is a 5 minute walk from the beginning of La Rambla, and therefore it can work to explore the city on your own although you are likely to have to take cabs to get to most places. We could meet you there to start your tour if you are booking a walking tour, but it’s still more time-efficient if you meet your guide directly in town.
Please note that while small ships usually dock here, they might be sent to Moll Adossat occasionally on days when there is a lot of sea traffic.
Do we need to know the exact pier when you make your booking?
There are 4 terminals in the Moll Adossat pier (A, B, C and D) with a fifth currently under construction that is however used in days of intense traffic, and 3 terminals in Moll de Barcelona (North, South and Z), but you are not likely to know the exact pier when you book your tours. Actually, you might not be informed until the day before – but that’s not a problem.
As long as we know the cruise name and cruise line, our guides and drivers have means to find the right pier. But we do need to know the exact name of the ship, as there might be two cruises from the same cruise line in town that day, and they’d be in different piers. So for instance, tell us that you are in the “Norwegian Epic“, not just in the “Norwegian”, or the “Celebrity Reflection“, not just the “Celebrity”.
We recommend chauffeured tours. Here is why:
√ Pick-up & Drop-off at the pier included
√ Optional airport pick-up available
√ Kids and handicapped friendly
√ Roomy and air-conditioned
√ Dedicated professional driver
√ Pier pick-up & Drop-off NOT included
(meet your guide in town)
↓ Less areas covered
↓ More time wasted in transportation
↓ 2 taxis required if you are 4 people or more
We recommend to book your tour to start at least 30 minutes after docking (that’s how long it takes before gates are open to allow passengers out of the ship), or at least 1 hour if you booked a walking tour.
Also, we don’t recommend to start earlier than 8AM (9AM for food tours).
Take into account that you will be given a deadline to be back on board and you don’t want to be late or too tight.
This is why we recommend to be done with your tour at least 1 hour before departure (or 1 hour 15min if you booked a walking tour)
We can help you seeing much more than you'd do on your own!
But we recommend not being too ambitious: boarding on time should be your priority when booking.
Most cruisers do well with 4 to 6 hour tours, but if your cruise is staying overnight, an 8 hour tour is also a good option.
This formula will help you calculate how much time do you realistically have to do your sightseeing:
– DOCKING TIME
– BUFFER TIME*
= TIME AVAILABLE FOR TOURING
* Buffer time is minimum 1 hour 30min for chauffeured tours or 2 hours 15min for walking tours.
Here are some examples by real customers:
Cobaden (Montreal, Canada)On our day stop in Barcelona from cruise we have booked a half day private tour with ForeverBarcelona.
Marga and her chauffeur pick us up right on time, guide us through Barcelona main attractions. Marga is very knowledgeable and pleasant even if she has to work on a Sunday.
Within a few hours she manages to show to us all very interesting places, got us tickets, without any waiting time, to go inside la Sagrada Familia Church, and to end the tour by referring us to a great tapas restaurant.
Linda M (Canton, Connecticut, USA)Carlos and Miriam meet us at the pier at the agreed upon time to begin our full day of touring Barcelona. We started with the panoramic tour, as Carlos drove us through the city, Míriam described each important site responding to any questions we asked. When we arrived at the Sagrada Familia, it was very busy. Míriam whisked us to the entrance and without delay we went inside viewing this magnificent church designed by Gaudi. Miriam communicated throughout the day to Carlos, our driver, who arrived without delay to drive us to the next site. We continued our city tour as we were driven to Park Guell, and again although the lines were long we immediately entered and began our tour. We saw Casa Milà then stopped at the restaurant where Miriam introduced us to delicious tapas, pinchos, paella, sangria and cava. We next had a walking tour along La Rambla and through the Gothic Quarter. We were amazed as we walked through La Boqueria at the displays of fresh produce, meats, fish, and candy.
At the end of the day, Carlos returned us to the pier where we hugged Miriam goodbye with hopes of seeing her and Barcelona again.
Dave and Mary SteeleMy wife and I were in port at Barcelona from noon until 6PM the following day and spent the first afternoon and second day with Marta on exceptional private tours.
The first day we toured Barcelona, seeing many of the Gaudi sites, including his fantastic church and homes he designed. We also were able to see much of the Olympic scene and much more.
The following day to Montserrat and Sitges. Both where phenomenonal in their own ways and we had a wonderful lunch at a beachside table in a nice restaurant at Sitges.
A wonderful experience my wife and I will never forget.
Barcelona is one of the most popular ports of call in Europe, and a lot of cruise lines start or end here (or both!).
Are you arriving (or departing) a few days earlier?
If you have the possibility of arriving a day or two early or depart a day or two after the cruise is over… do it! You’ll enjoy the city much more. We can help you out with your sightseeing, too! This are our best itineraries for half day, one day and two days. We can send a driver to pick you up at the airport and take you to the hotel, and the next day we can show you around and drop you off at the pier at the end of the tour: with our chauffeured tours you don’t have to worry about carrying your luggage around – it’ll be safely locked in the car trunk and the driver will be in the car at all times.
Djw34285 (Venice, Florida, USA)Marta met our group at the cruise port and at the end of the day dropped us and our luggage at our hotel. She is extremely knowledgeable and has wonderful stories about Barcelona. She was very prompt in answering our email enquiries. Would definitely spend time with her again.
Only have a few hours between landing and your cruise departure?
If you only have a few hours between your flight and your cruise departure or arrival, that’s not a problem either. We can pick you up at the airport, show you around and drop you off at the pier (or the other way around). This is our favorite half day itinerary with airport pick-up or drop-off.
PhiliptallisAfter leaving the Harmony we organised a tour of Barcelona followed by lunch and drop off at the airport. We were met by Josep our driver and Miriam our guide. They arrived exactly on time in a extremely smart people carrier. Miriam tailored the tour exactly as we wanted it! Sadly we had to go to the airport for our flight home. Josep picked us up exactly on time and we traveled in style for the final time. The tour was exactly what we wanted, our luggage was secure and both members of the team were excellent at their jobs.
Our top shore excursions:
A memorable stopover in Barcelona
Even if you are staying only for a morning, if your sightseeing is well organized you can get to cover much more than you would think. We are cruise tour specialists that can help you visiting in a time-efficient, organized and safe way. Our Barcelona shore excursions are precisely designed with this goal in mind.
We have selected for you the itineraries that work best for cruise passengers in Barcelona: from city highlights and airport to pier tours, to the Gaudí masterpieces and even a daytrip out of town that fits most cruise schedules. Check out here our recommended private Barcelona shore excursions
Of course, feel free to browse our website and if you find a different itinerary (or have a list of favorite sites) that you’d be interested in, we’ll be glad to adapt to your request as much as possible.
Barcelona, port of call
The port of Barcelona is the largest in Europe and the number 4 in the world (after the main ones in Florida). We are proud to receive over 2.5 million cruisers every year, and to be the departing and ending port of call for many renowned cruise-lines.
Despite walking not always being a convenient option from most piers, they are actually a short ride from the city center and that allows you to plan for comprehensive sightseeing Barcelona shore excursions even if you are staying only for the morning in town. Plus a few luxury cruises even spend a night over, allowing you to also experience the local dinner and nightlife scene.
Our city is famous for its many and varied tourist attractions, and even if you have already been here before we’ll probably be able to custom the itinerary of your Barcelona shore excursions to show you new things. Plus there are also great destinations out of town that are less than one hour away of the city, making them the perfect plan even for short stopovers. The city of Barcelona and its surroundings feature some of the best excursions in Spain!
In the other hand, the Barcelona airport is only 20 minutes drive from the city center, and most international flights arrive early in the morning. What means that you can still plan for a pre-cruise tour between landing and embarking.
No matter what’s your cruise schedule and interests, we have the right Barcelona shore excursions for you!
Seat99 (Canada)My only two regrets I do that we only had one day to spend with Marta – and that there are only 5 stars available here to go to the evaluation. There no question that this was one of the highlights of our trip.
Our family 5 just returned from a 12 Mediterranean cruise on the Disney cruise line. The cruise left from Barcelona so we arrived early and booked a fullday tour with Marta. What an amazing day! somehow she managed to keep my wife and I, as well as our kids (18, 13 and 9) amused and entertained as she revealed to us the wonders and amusements of Barcelona.
As we then progressed out around the Med with many very good tour guides, everyone kept comparing them to Marta. And she usually won!
Smood65 (Brisbane, Australia)Our family of 4 (with 2 teenagers) went on a Mediterranean cruise that stopped in Barcelona for one day. We always engage the services of a private guide when we are in port for just a day as we find that is the best way to see a city and make the most of our time there.
We met our guide Martha at the agreed place and started with a tour of the markets, and it was fascinating to see all the fresh food available for sale including live lobsters and crabs! We then proceeded to the chocolate tasting experience which is conducted in a small chocolate shop.
The whole thing was a fascinating experience and we would thoroughly
recommend it as something a bit different from the normal tourist stuff