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Santander cruises

Santander cruises
Santander cruises

People arriving in to Santander on cruise ships, who have crossed one of the most beautiful natural bays in the world and who have passed through the Maritime Terminal, leaving them in the centre of the city, have a lot to discover. Just a short walk away, visitors will find the quality shops that surround the Town Hall, or if they stroll along the bay they can visit the Maritime Museum, or simply explore the many beaches and golf courses on offer in the city. For those people who wish to venture further inland, there is the Palacio de Festivales, a large number of exhibition rooms, as well as the prestigious and varied range of foods to be tried, which offer a top quality alternative.

The Cabárceno Nature Park is just 15km from Santander. Originally, it was an opencast iron mine and now the network of roads, tunnels and paths have been equipped for walking and vehicles. Now it is a spectacular paradise for fauna with more than 750 hectares of land that house more than 1,000 animals (that are semi-free to roam around) from all the animal groups: bears, tigers, deer, lions, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, kangaroos, giraffes, etc.

Liérganes, Valle de Pas y Palacio de Elsedo
Liérganes has been declared a historic and artistic compound with architecture from the 17th and 18th century. The village is an excellent example of well-preserved, typical architecture with balconies full of flowers, narrow streets and an old stone bridge. The Elsedo Palace is just 3 km away. As well as a Museum and Art Gallery housing unique modern art in the region, it is also an 18th century palace and there are wonderful parks surrounding the building that make this a marvellous visit.

Santillana, Comillas
The collegiate church dating back to the mid-12th century is the most striking and main example of Romanesque architecture in Cantabria. This Medieval town is made up of a collection of extraordinary historical monuments built between the 14th and 18th centuries and which can be visited as you stroll around the narrow, cobbled streets. The town is a unique combination of large houses and streets with a mountain feel to them, mixed in with unique modern buildings, such as the Sobrellano Palace or the "Capricho de Gaudí" or the Pontificia University, which is Gothic with Mudéjar influences.

Caves: Palaeolithic and geological heritage, Soplao, the Viesgo bridge, Altamira.
Cantabria is a world reference point for Palaeolithic art. There are around fifty caves with paintings that make up one of the largest collections in the world. Altamira is the most important Palaeolithic compound known and in order to protect it, it can not be visited directly, but you can visit the Altamira National Museum, which is just a few metres away from the original cave where you can see exact reproductions of the paintings.

Of the nearly 5,000 caves that exist in Cantabria, El Soplao is considered to be a huge treasure in world geology. The cave stands in beautiful, natural surroundings and is of great aesthetic value, as represented by the large variety of eccentric formations. There are also many stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones in many different colours. An ambitious project to turn this cave into a theme park has started and will finish in 2006 with the creation of the Mining Museum and the recreation of old mining carts that will be used to take visitors into the caves. 

Bárcena Mayor
Travelling through the Cabuérniga valley and passing unbeatable locations, we come to Bárcena Mayor, which feels like travelling back in time through a number of centuries. The regular design of the streets, the picturesque houses and natural surroundings make this place one of the most beautiful spots in Cantabria. The typical atmosphere of a distant past still remains in Bárcena Mayor. The town stands between mountains on the route between the valley and the plateau and there are still remains of the old Roman road, although the oldest historic records date back to the Middle Ages.

The highest quality raw materials are knowingly combined to create exquisite recipes that are continually being expanded upon and recognised: seafood, fish, meat, vegetables, cheeses and puddings. Traditional stews and modern cooking make up Cantabria’s great culinary heritage.

Castro Urdiales, the east coast, Guggenheim
The east of Cantabria is packed with traditional fishing villages and it is currently a tourist attraction that offers spectacular beaches and a huge culinary tradition specialising in seafood and fish.

Castro Urdiales is one of the powerful group of four cities on the “Costa del Mar”. It is an elegant seaside town, but the most representative area of Castro Urdiales is the Toki-Eder Palace containing the Santa María Church (the largest Gothic building in Cantabria built between the 13th and 15th centuries), the Castle-Lighthouse next to the palace and the Santa Ana Bridge.
The Guggenheim Museum, one of the most spectacular urban projects to be undertaken in the last few years, is just an hour from Santander. This fantastic stone and titanium structure in the shape of a boat, designed by the architect Frank O. Gehry, houses ultra-modern works of art for lovers of art and architecture.



Although Santander is not the typical destination for cruise liners, as it is far from the sun drenched, hot beaches of the Mediterranean, it is true that growing demand for new destinations and the gradual saturation of others offers this port a business opportunity.

We can therefore see how Santander is setting itself up as a stopover port. This year there are a total of ten stopovers. Some cruise liners, such as the Europa, are returning and stopping over at our port for the third consecutive year and others, such as the luxurious The World, are sailing through the waters of Santander for the first time this year. This particular ship is atypical within the industry, as it is the only ship to offer customers the opportunity to be the owner of a luxurious ship on the high seas. The length of this ship’s stopovers is also unusual: the ship remained in our port for three days, when ships do not normally stopover for longer than twelve hours in port.

This year, the Port of Santander has had a stand at the two main trade fairs in the sector: as is now usual, the port took part in the Miami Seatrade in March within the Spanish hall. In addition, the port took part in the Northern European Seatrade fair (which alternates every 2 years with the Mediterranean Seatrade fair), which was held in Hamburg.

Alongside the other ports that belong to the Green Coast Cruise Association, a visit was made to the four ports by a group of North Americans involved in the sector. These visits not only highlight our port, but also the city and the region as well. Although the visitors were only in Santander for less than 24 hours, they had time to visit the city and the port, as well as to take a trip to Santillana del Mar and Comillas.



The Port of Santander is expecting a similar number of cruise stopovers this year. The port will also continue to work on generating more stopovers by taking part in the Miami Seatrade fair.

The port continues to work together with another 100 European ports within the CRUISE EUROPE Association, as it has done for a number of years. Work also continues at the Green Coast Cruise Association, which has publicised the Cantabrian coast as an alternative cruise destination.


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Ministerio de Fomento. A new window will be opened   Certificados ISO-9.001 e ISO-14.001. A new window will be opened.
Santander Port Authority. c/ Muelles de Maliaño s/n • 39.009 Santander (Cantabria - Spain)
Tel: (34) 942 20 36 00 • Fax: (34) 942 20 36 33 • e-mail: info(arroba)
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