BARCELONA SHORE EXCURSIONS
Should you book a private tour instead of one of the cruise shore excursions?
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 own experience:
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 was 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.
BASIC TIPS FOR CRUISERS VISITING BARCELONA
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”.
CLICK HERE TO SEE A GOOGLE MAPS WITH THE LOCATION OF THE PIERS IN RELATION WITH THE TOP AREAS AND SITES
WE RECOMMEND CHAUFFEURED TOURS because:
- Pier pick-up and drop off is included (if you book a walking tour we’ll give you a meeting point directly in town and you’ll have to get there by your own means).
- We can also pick you up at the airport or drop you off there, if you need it.
- Chauffeured tours are kid and handicapped friendly.
- They are more time-efficient as they allow you to cover more areas in less time.
- Our vans are roomy and air-conditioned (unlike most city taxis, and they have room up to 6 of you whereas most taxis only take 3 plus the guide.
STARTING TIMEWe 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).
ENDING TIMETake 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 overly 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.
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.
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.
BARCELONA PORT OF CALL FACTS
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.
A memorable stop-over
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!