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As a service center at regional level, the city of Santander contains major public institutions as well as private organizations with many employees, including the University of Cantabria, Grupo Santander, Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital. Activities related to leisure, tourism and culture are an important part of its economy, and the municipal and regional authorities look to increase the summer tourist trade via additional offerings, such as conferences, conventions, cultural festivals and cruises.
Currently, the rise in port activity, growing value-added traffic (containers and vehicles of mostly solids and liquids) for storage that requires a lot of already scarce ground, as well as insufficient depth for larger ships, is forcing Port Authority to think over the long-term construction of new port outside the bay.
On June 29, 2005, the city celebrated its 250th anniversary. UIMP (Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo, 1908-founded) is an summer university that organizes large-scale international music festivals - including FIS (Festival Internacional de Santander), FiMOC (Festival Internacional de Musica de Organo), Paloma O'Shea (International Piano Competition) and Encuentro de Musica y Academia.
In 2018, the cruise port handled just 7 ship calls, while for 2019 were scheduled 23 calls. That cruise berth (at Ferry Port Santander / Almirante Quay) is mainly used by ferries. In times with scheduled ferries, cruise ships berth at another pier, from where the port offers free shuttle buses to the city. There are plans for building a new (dedicated) cruise pier. The ferry terminal was extensively refurbished and modernized in 2018.
Santander cruise terminal
The French company BRITTANY FERRIES runs cruiseferries to Santander with regularly scheduled departures from England UK (Portsmouth and Plymouth). Ferry Port Santander is located right in downtown, within easy walking distance from city's best known shops and tourist attractions, including Old Town's restaurants and bars and El Sardinero beach.
Ferry terminal's check-in usually opens several hours prior departure. passengers are required to return their vehicles on the ferry approx 2 hours prior departure.
Port Santander's Ferry and Cruise quays are part of the Passenger Terminal Muelle Almirante (aka Almirante Quay). Smaller ships and mega-yachts may alternatively use Marina de Molnedo, Club Amigos de Puertochico and Real Club Marítimo de Santander.
Port's Passenger (ferry) Terminal has a small cafeteria and public toilets (located after the vehicle check-in area). Terminal's cafe restaurant (building's ground floor) is open during summer (high season) only. At the ferry terminal there are also payphones, a ramp (for disabled passengers), tourist info desk and Brittany Ferries info desk (ground floor), disabled toilets (ground floor and close to the check-in counters), escalator (for foot passengers via the building's first floor to the ferry's gangway / bridge). The next photo shows the new Centro Botin Santander (adjacent to the cruise terminal).
Car parking is at approx 15 min easy walking distance from the passenger terminal. The terminal provides wheelchairs in cases of emergency. Dogs are allowed in the port's all areas, but they must be leashed and muzzled.
Port Santander 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 Santander, 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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