New Member At Cruise Europe: Pasaia, Spain
Pasaia provides a safe and attractive refuge for cruiseships stopping over in the Bay of Biscay. Located at the heart of the bay, 15 km from the French border and 5 km from San Sebastian, the Spanish port is a natural harbour in an area of great beauty and a haven for cruiseships visiting the Cantabrian Sea.
The port is situated at 1° 56’ 032 W (Greenwich) longitude and 43° 20’ 084 N latitude. Port services include pilotage, mooring, tugboats, SRD (Marpol) and ISPS transit. The port is in a north/northwest orientation with a width of between 80m and 120m. The length of the channel is 1,200m with a depth at maximum equinoctial spring tide low water (MESTLW) of 10m. The seafloor is sand and sandstone.
Although the Buenavista dock is designed for general cargo, it can accommodate cruiseships with prior reservations. It has a length of 582m, a width of 68m and a depth of 10m. There is no passenger terminal but access to a docking line can be provided. There is good access for the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers. It is also easy for buses and taxis to pick up/drop passengers. There is a shuttle service to the city centre and public transport near the port.
There are four airports within reach of Pasaia: San Sebastian Airport (15 km); Biarritz Airport (42 km), Bilbao Airport (108 km) and Pamplona Airport (99 km).
Since 2014, the port has had a small number of calls each year. This year there were nine calls bringing 808 passengers. Next year there will be three calls and 1,118 passengers.The largest vessel to call is Azamara Journey (181 m in length).
From a tourism viewpoint, the main feature is Pasaia’s proximity to a wide variety of tourist options and beautiful countryside. For example, passengers can go back in time and discover the charm of a typical Basque fishing village from the eighteenth century, visit the historic centre of Pasaia or put on some sturdy mountain boots and walk in the surrounding mountains and valleys.
San Sebastian is one of the world’s most famous culinary cities, it is also at the forefront in supporting science, technology and culture. Bizkaia meanwhile is all about modernity and innovation. The provinces of Alava and Navarra offer more gentle options, characterised by a wide range of possibilities for rural, family, wine and food tourism.
Shore excursions are offered by tour operators from the ship but the city tourism office also offers tours around San Sebastian and the rest of Gipuzkoa to those seeking independent travel.