Andalucia is one of the most authentic tourist destinations in Spain for many reasons: its climate; its excellent location; its huge cultural and artistic legacy; its wonderful gastronomy; its hotel infrastructure, with one of the finest selections of accommodations in Europe; its wide range of leisure activities, satisfying even the most demanding needs of the traveler; its excellent flight connections, road and rail; its cultural legacy; the friendliness and hospitality of its people; its flamenco; and, of course, its nearly 500 miles of coastline with great beaches surrounded by amazing and diverse landscapes.
Reaching Andalusia by sea is a unique experience. With seven commercial ports and 40 sport marinas, major cruise companies all over the world have set their targets on the strategic and sunny Andalusian coast, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, and modern port facilities together with a huge cultural and artistic heritage will astonish cruise passengers.
The cruise tourism in Andalusia is a very fast-growing segment during the last years. The region received 1.1 million cruise passengers in 2011, equivalent to 20 percent of the total number of tourists visiting Spain. The main cruise ports are Malaga, Cadiz, Almeria, Seville and Motril. All these ports are located close to historical city centers and charming white-washed villages, with a variety of entertainment facilities and activities focused on cruise tourism. As travel times are often very short, there are many options for day tours or pre- and post-cruise packages to discover and experience the Andalusia essentials.
Malaga is the second most important port of peninsular Spain in cruise traffic and is currently living an incredible transformation process, which aims to bring the city and its port closer together. A huge area with shopping centers, restaurants and entertainment offerings is now available close to the two main terminals. Cruise passengers can easily reach the old town, offering much in the way of culture and leisure. For the year of 2012, the port estimates the arrival of 315 cruise ships with a 30 percent on base. Furthermore, during the summer season air carrier Delta Air Lines launches again its direct connection with Malaga (AGP) from New York (JFK).