Vigo is open 24/7 even in poor weather
This year there were 80 calls, which is lower than in the past, but passenger numbers are on the rise due to the increasing size of ships. The cruise business accounts for a major part of tourism in Vigo and the city is keen to see passengers return either on ships or by land.
Whilst the Spanish port has traditionally strong ties with UK cruise companies, the market has now expanded, for example Royal Caribbean International’s Independence of the Seas has paid many visits.
Transit calls are the mainstay of the business but the port has hosted turnarounds in the past from MSC Cruises and Iberocruceros. This year Pullmantur has made one turnaround call.
The Vigo Cruise Terminal is steeped with history from when the Spanish were emigrating to South America in the 1950s. Nowadays it is proud of its security operation which has more than 100 CCTV cameras placed throughout the cruise and cargo operations which are closely monitored from within the terminal.
In October Viking Sky and Sapphire Princess called on the same day. With dolphin bollards in place, there is 750m of mooring available, all with a depth of 12m.
Passengers can walk directly into town in minutes but they can also enjoy a meal at Albatros Terraza and Cafe (with free wifi) within the terminal which has spectacular views, particularly at sunset. For about 50% of calls, passengers are also offered the chance to a free fish tasting, Taste the Can, for free.
Being a multipurpose terminal exhibitions may also be taking place. When Cruise Europe visited in October there was one on minerals and stones. Special fliers are given to passengers to let them know what is taking place.
More than 40 buses can be accommodated adjacent to the terminal.
There is another terminal/quay available should it be necessary which is also very close to the town centre.
Whilst Santiago de Compostela is one of the tours on offer, local operators have been working hard on offering alternatives. For example the Portuguese frontier is only 30 minutes driving with the charming village of Valenca do Minho, whilst the local Rias Baixas wineries are only 30 minutes away.
Within the direct vicinity of the port are the Castrelos Gardens. The San Simon archipelago first inhabited by monastic communities in the fifth century but with a rich and colourful history and the Cies Islands are also popular. Passengers can also take a 20 minute ferry ride across the bay to small villages to taste the local fish or visit the mussel platforms to see how they are farmed and also take part in a tasting.
Being the first Spanish town to gain independence during the Napoleonic wars, a call timed with the Reconquista Festival on March 28 could be worth planning.
From the pilot station to the berth takes between 30 and 45 minutes. Wastewater, garbage and bunkering are all available services. The Vigo Cruise Terminal is a concession from the port authority.