Barcelona cruise ship holidays could be set for change as the city’s Mayor pledges to restrict the number of cruise ships allowed to dock in the destination in Spain. Limiting the number of ships permitted would serve to reduce pollution in Barcelona and lower visitor numbers. Barcelona is Europe’s busiest cruise ship destination. Around 2.7 million passengers disembarked from 800 ships in 2017, reported local paper Catalan News. This has seen the city top a list of 50 European ports for the worst cruise ship air pollution, according to analysis by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment.
Corporation – the world’s largest luxury cruise operator – responsible for the most pollution.
Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, also hopes to reduce the number of tourists flooding the city.
A survey by the Barcelona City Council last year highlighted tourism as one of Barcelona’s biggest problems.
Colau is also opposed to Barcelona’s airport expanding. “We don’t have infinite capacity,” she said.
The mayor added after a visit to the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, which docked in the city: “In Barcelona we want to act on all fronts,” according to The Guardian.
She also said: “We can not resign ourselves to the fact that children are breathing filthy air.”
A number of neighbourhood associations and environmental groups have spent years campaigning against the number of cruise ships in Barcelona.
Spanish politician Gala Pin once compared passengers to “a plague of locusts,” reported The Guardian.
Barcelona is not the only city cracking down on the number of cruise ships.
Venice in Italy also wants to restrict numbers, with Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro urging Unesco to place the famous city on the world heritage blacklist in a bid to preserve it.
Last month he criticised Italy’s transport minister Danilo Toninelli for not approving a plan to divert cruise ships from the busy Giudecca canal.
The backlash against cruises escalated in June when cruise ship MSC Opera crashed and injured five people.
Venetians took to the city’s streets and canals in protest at the enormous vessels clogging the waterways and proving a hazard.
If Venice were placed on Unesco’s blacklist entry into the city would be significantly restricted.
Brugnaro wants emergency solutions to “keep the ships away from St. Mark’s Square.”
The Unesco blacklist is reserved for sights under significant danger. There are 54 currently, most of which are in Africa and the Middle East.