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Barcelona Targets Cruise Ships in Its Latest Fight With Tourists

In a long struggle with overcrowding, Catalonia’s regional government is looking at how to reduce the number of liners docking in the city’s harbor.

Cruise ships Norwegian Epic and MS Harmony of the Seas at the port of Barcelona in 2021. 

Cruise ships Norwegian Epic and MS Harmony of the Seas at the port of Barcelona in 2021. 

Photographer: Paco Freire/SOPA/Getty Images

The days when Barcelona’s harbor was thronged with cruise ships could soon be a thing of the past if local leaders get their way.

In an announcement this month, the regional government of Catalonia said it would soon introduce measures intended to limit liners arriving at its port, Europe’s busiest cruise terminal before the pandemic. The announcement comes in the wake of a sharp — but not entirely welcome — resurgence in visits to Spain’s second city. Some 125 cruise ships docked in May alone.