El Puerto de Santa Maria ("The Port of Saint Mary", or just "El Puerto") is a municipality situated on the banks of Guadalete River in the province of Cadiz, Andalusia (Spain). As of 2009, the town has a population of 88,000 of which around 50,000 live in the urban center, the remainder in city's surrounding areas. El Puerto de Santa María lies 6 miles (10 kilometres) north east of Cadiz across the Cádiz bay and is famous for having been the port from which Christopher Columbus sailed on his 2nd voyage to the Americas. The pilot of Columbus, Juan de la Cosa, drew a world map (the first including the New World's coast) in El Puerto 1500.
El Puerto was also the residence of wealthy cargadores, merchants who operated the trade of Spain with the Americas. During the 16th-17th centuries, it was the winter port of royal galleys. In the 19th century the city became the French Army's General Headquarters during the Peninsular War under Joseph Bonaparte's reign (1801–1812). El Puerto de Santa Maria is steeped in history, monuments and museums. It is within easy reach of the historical cities of Cadiz and Seville.
The total area of El Puerto de Santa Maria is 159.34 km2 (61.52 ml2). The most important economic activity in El Puerto is tourism, mainly due to the beaches, as well as the bullfights at the arena in the summer months. The city also hosts groups of motorcyclists during Jerez Motorcycle Grand Prix.
There is a highly developed wine industry in El Puerto de Santa Maria. Bullfighting is enjoyed during Feria season in August, and during Feria de la Primavera (Spring Fair) in May. This Feria is specially dedicated to sherry wine - 180,000 half bottles are being drunk in 4 days. There are several wineries (bodegas) in the town centre, all of which available to the public. The most famous El Puerto bodegas are Terry and Osborne, both of which export brandy and sherry worldwide.
Highlights: Bodegas, Beaches, Castillo de San Marcos, Cathedral
El Puerto de Santa Maria tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Jerez de la Frontera
The El Puerto de Santa Maria cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near El Puerto de Santa Maria, Jerez, Spain.
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Port El Puerto de Santa Maria cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from El Puerto de Santa Maria, Jerez, Spain. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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