CRUISE travel to Barcelona has been interrupted by riots and demonstrations in the area after the Catalonia independence vote sparking major travel disruption with some cruises redirected to Valencia instead.
Passengers hoping to travel to Barcelona have been disappointed after two cruise ships were diverted from the area, thanks to demonstrations and riots. Two cruise ships, the Mein Schiff 3 and the Mein Schiff 5, landed last Sunday and yesterday in Valencia, instead of their planned destination. They had been diverted from their original course by companies avoiding the city of Barcelona as a stopover after riots broke out due to the Catalonian independence vote.
This has given a great boost to the town of Valencia – as over 10,000 extra visitors have descended on the town.
Violence broke out in Catalonia after citizens attempted to vote in a referendum that is not considered legal by the Spanish government. Spanish King Felipe Vl declared Sunday’s independence referendum illegal and called Catalan leaders disloyal. The people of Catalonia have been fighting for independence from Spain for many years.
A referendum was previously held on 9 November 2014, organised by the Government of Catalonia. Over 80 per cent of the votes supported independence.
Thanks to the current diversions, more moorings have been reserved in the town of Valencia in anticipation that further civil unrest in Barcelona will see more ships diverted to the area. Six spaces for large ships have been cleared for more cruises avoiding Barcelona. According to the Port Authority, Valencia is expecting the arrival of ‘Costa Pacifica’, that was in Barcelona just yesterday. It has a length of 289 meters and a capacity of 3,780 passengers. The Valencian Port estimates the city will receive 208 ships and 436,000 passengers this year, a figure similar to that recorded in the years before the economic crisis.