Cartagena is a major port city on the coast of Murcia region (southeastern Spain), with population around 220,000. The indented harbour bay is guarded by rocky promontories, each topped by a fort. Today, the city is also Spain's main naval base and cargo shipping port.
Cartagena is Spanish Navy's principal port since 18th century. As far as the 16th century, it was among the most important Spanish naval ports, along with Ferrol. Cartagena is still a major naval port and has a large naval shipyard.
Popolar among tourists are the Roman Theatre (2nd largest in Iberia) - after Merida), abundance of Phoenician, Byzantine, Roman and Moorish remains, numerous Art Nouveau buildings, a Carthaginian castle, old city walls, a 13th century cathedral, waterfront promenades (along the harbour), Mar Menor (lagoon-like beach and watersports resort).
Cartagena was founded in 221 BC by the Carthaginians (king Hasdrubal). As "Nova Carthage" the town was Roman Empire's principal port town in Iberia. In AD 425, the city was sacked by the Goths, later restored and improved by the Moors. From 1269, it was ruled by Aragon Kingdom, and later became part of the Kingdom of Spain. Cartagena is the first of several cities which eventually were named Cartagena, most notably Cartagena of the Indies (Cartagena de Indias) in Colombia.
The following photo is an aerial look over Port Cartagena.
For season 2018, the cruise port had scheduled a total of 150 ship calls and over 215,000 passengers. This was increase of 26% over 2016 (151 ship calls with around 236,000 passengers). The port also reported (based on ship bookings 2018) 24 days with double and triple ship calls.
In 2017 was extended the cruise pier (to 700 m / 2300 ft) which now allows docking of two of the world's largest cruise ships simultaneously. Also in 2017 were added new cruise shore excursions, among which to the history themed "Roman Theater" and the culinary-themed “Stories with Flavor” (Mediterranean cuisine specialties and tapas tastings).
For season 2018, the cruise port handled 148 ship calls and 228,000 passengers. For season 2019 were booked 162 ship calls with estimated nearly 248,000 passengers.
Cartagena cruise terminal
Cartagena cruise ship terminal is located in the port's Marina area (its outer part). The terminal is right next to the Yacht Club's building. The quay is at a close proximity to the city center.
The cruise terminal offers as facilities taxi rank, bus stop, parking lots for tourist coaches, info kiosks. Nearby are also Murcia's Muelle de Alfonso XII quay and Plaza Ayuntamiento.
Cartagena tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Murcia City (region's capital) offers a wide variety of themed excursion options, including beach resorts, city tours, nature tours, culinary and wine tours, shopping opportunities. Lorca (city) is famous for its medieval past.
Caravaca de la Cruz (town northwest of Murcia) is considered one of world's all 5 Holy Cities and is a major destination for pilgrims. Every 7 years, here is celebrates Permanent Jubilee.
Bodegas Hacienda del Carche (Vejer de la Frontera) opened a wine museum about region's history. As cruise tour, it includes a visit to the vineyards, review of the winemaking and wine tasting.
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