Port Barcelona imposes new cruise tax on tourists to curb pollution

   June 8, 2022 ,   Cruise Industry

Cruise ship tourists visiting Port Barcelona (Spain) will soon have to pay another tax in order to help curb in-port pollution and combat CO emissions from large passenger liners.

Cruisers are already charged a tourist levy, coughing up EUR 3 for a stay of 12+ hours and EUR 1 for a stay of fewer than 12 hours.

The costs, along with an existing EUR 1.75 surcharge, are usually included in the cost of booking cruises/hotels.

Specifics of the new tax are expected to be outlined “in the coming weeks,” according to the Catalonian minister for climate action, Teresa Jorda.

The government has not yet revealed how much the new tax will cost.

Barcelona is not the only European city that is hoping to curb the environmental impact of liners. Last year, over-touristed Venice (Marghera, Italy) banned large cruise ships. Venice City charges visitors a EUR 10 entry fee.

Port of Barcelona (Spain)

Barcelona is the busiest European cruise port. In 2019, ~3 million passengers disembarked in the port city, with daily cruise passenger numbers exceeding 10,000 for a total of 139 days in the year. Traffic dropped by 90% in 2020 but picked back up to 521,000 in 2021. This current year, it is predicted to surge again.

The cruise traffic in Barcelona takes a toll on the environment. According to a 2019 report, the city suffered more air pollution from cruise ships than any other port in Europe. Ships run on heavy crude oil, which contains ~2,000 times more of the toxic pollutant sulfur oxide than ordinary diesel.