Barcelona has partially banned cruise ships from docking at its central port at specific piers in a bid to reduce pollution and curb overtourism.
The decision, which goes into effect on October 22, will require cruise ships to dock at the southern port instead to limit exhaust gases near the city center.
The ban affects both the city’s Muelle Barcelona Norte northern docks and the World Trade Centre.
The ban also means that from now on, guests disembarking in Barcelona will have to take a 30-minute shuttle bus to reach the city center.
Barcelona is also limiting the number of cruise ships that can dock at its ports from ten to seven. The decision has been in the works since 2018 when the Port of Barcelona set up the Cruise Sustainability Council with the goal of reducing the impact of cruise tourism and limiting the number of cruise terminals.
In 2019 Barcelona’s Mayor Ada Colau promised to restrict the number of cruise ships in the city while local politicians have compared cruise tourists with a “plague of locusts”.
“There are thousands of people who arrive at once,” Colau said for El Pais. “Most of them stay for just a few hours and are highly concentrated in the downtown area. They generate a feeling of collapse.”