Tourist Information Guide

COVID testing for cruise travellers in Barcelona

Page Content

Latest update: 06 September 2022

Cruise passenger at Barcelona cruise terminal
Cruise passenger at Barcelona cruise terminal

On this page you´ll find frequently asked questions on COVID tests for cruise travellers in Barcelona, and their corresponding answers.

We cover the following topics:
• COVID entry requirements at Barcelona airport to embark on a cruise at Barcelona cruise port
• Where to get a COVID test in Barcelona before boarding a cruise at Barcelona cruise port
• How and where to get a COVID test in Barcelona after a cruise to fly back home from Barcelona airport

On this page we also provide links to a government authorized Express COVID testing centre located near the Sagrada Familia which is 4.5km from Barcelona cruise port. The testing centre can provide FIT-TO-CRUISE COVID antigen test certificates within 15 minutes and PCR test certificates within 3 hours and they are open 7 days a week (including Sundays). Unlike most other testing centres the testing centre we recommend work only by appointment ensuring that you do not have to queue to get tested.

To book your pre-boarding COVID test for your specific cruise click on the link below.


Covid entry requirements at Barcelona Airport to then board a cruise at Barcelona cruise port

Question: I am flying to Barcelona to connect to a cruise departing from Barcelona cruise port. What COVID documentation do I need to enter Spain through Barcelona Airport?

Answer: We recommend you to read the following page:

COVID-19 Certificates To Travel to Barcelona, Spain By Air, Sea or Land in 2022 And Health Control Checkpoints

We also strongly advise you check the COVID documentation requested by your cruise company to board the cruise.


Where to get a COVID test before boarding a cruise at Barcelona cruise port

Question: Is there an antigen test facility at Barcelona cruise port? We are required to show a negative antigen test certificate to board the MSC Virtuosa. If there is no test centre at the cruise port, where can we get tested? We´ll be staying at a hotel in the area of the Ramblas and the Gothic quarter.

Answer: We do not know of any COVID test facility at the Barcelona cruise port. However we can recommend 3 options:

1. COVID Express testing facility for cruise ship passengers

There is an express COVID testing centre near the Sagrada Familia that is geared up for doing tests for cruise ship passengers. This testing centre is only 4.5km from the cruise port. Unlike most other COVID testing centres, this testing centre only works by appointment which means that you do not have waiting times. A testing centre that works by appointment is very important to ensure fast testing times. Most other COVID testing centres in Barcelona do not work by appointment which means you may experience long queues. The testing centre at the Sagrada Familia will set an appointment time for you and you will get tested at that appointed time. In addition the express COVID testing centre also knows the testing and documentation requirements for each cruise leaving Barcelona. Having a test from a COVID testing centre that knows the testing and documentation requirements for each cruise is important to ensure you have the right paperwork to board your cruise. We recommend you make a reservation for this testing centre in advance to ensure you have the time slot reserved for you. You can make your reservation by clicking on one of the buttons below. Once the testing quota for a time slot is full the express COVID testing centre will not accept more appointments for that time slot. By working to strict quotas for testing time slots the express COVID testing centre can ensure that there will be no queues at their clinic. The express testing centre is based 5 minutes walk from the Sagrada Familia. We recommend you click on one of the buttons below to make your reservation. The testing centre can also answer all your questions via email. Their customer email support is in the following languages:

English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Greek, Finnish, Dutch, Italian, Chinese and Russian.

It is important that you receive customer support in your own language to ensure all your questions are answered.

Once at the testing centre however their reception staff can provide support in English, Spanish and Catalan therefore it is best to ask your questions via email before you arrive at the clinic. You can send your questions to them about your test once you make your reservation. They normally respond to your questions within 15 minutes during normal working hours.

The express COVID testing clinic also provide support if you should test positive. Providing a support service if you test positive is important because 1 in 10 people that get tested have a positive test result for COVID and most other testing clinics do not provide any form of support if you test positive.

The express COVID testing centre clinic will not be able to test people who turn up to the clinic without an appointment. This is why we have not put the address of this clinic on the website. The exact address of the clinic will be in your reservation confirmation once you make your reservation. If you try to turn up to the clinic without a reservation you will be turned away. It is therefore important to make your reservation for your COVID test in advance. When you visit the clinic make sure to inform them which cruise you will be embarking on so that they will give you the correct test type and issue the correct paperwork for your cruise.

To make your reservation click on the link below to select your cruise ship and make your reservation for your pre-boarding COVID test.


2. At home COVID testing service at your hotel or tourist accommodation

You can also get tested at your hotel or tourist accommodation by qualified medical staff of a test centre of Barcelona who will come to your place to perform your COVID test. This testing service also has extensive experience with testing cruise passengers for their pre-boarding COVID tests. Make sure you mention to the nurse the name of the cruise you will be embarking on when you make your booking.

You can learn more about the at home testing service on the following two pages: 


3. Cruise Transfer and Antigen Test Package of a COVID test centre of Barcelona

Meet and greet at Barcelona Airport for cruise passengers
Meet and greet at Barcelona Airport for cruise passengers

For cruise travellers that arrive at Barcelona Airport the day before their cruise or the same day of their cruise, there is a COVID test centre located near the Sagrada Familia that offers a convenient and time saving premium Cruise Travellers Package. The package includes the following services:

  • Meet and greet at Barcelona Airport
  • Private transfer in a premium Mercedes vehicle from the airport to the test centre, with an English and Spanish speaking driver
  • Antigen test at the test centre with test certificate for boarding your cruise, available in 15 minutes, with no wait time to get tested
  • After your antigen test, private transfer in your premium Mercedes vehicle from the test centre to your accommodation in Barcelona or to the cruise port.

Your luggage stays in the car with your driver while you´re getting tested so that you don´t worry about your luggage. The test centre works with no wait times to get tested with this Cruise Travellers Package so that the entire services takes no longer than 1 hour to 1 hour and a half.


How and where to get a COVID test in Barcelona after a cruise to fly back home from Barcelona airport

Question: We will be travelling as a family to Barcelona for the Western Mediterranean cruise. We were thinking of flying back home on the same day our cruise is back to Barcelona, but we need to get a COVID test before our flight. The cruise will be back in the morning. Can we still catch our flight in the afternoon? How long does it take to get tested, and how long does it take to receive the COVID test certificate?

Answer: With the Cruise Transfer and Antigen Test Package provided by a COVID test centre located near the Sagrada Familia, it will take you no more than 1 hour and a half to be taken from your cruise terminal to the COVID test centre to get your antigen test and then to the airport. You will therefore be able to catch your afternoon flight. The package includes:

  • A driver waiting for you at the exit of your cruise terminal, together with a coordinator from the COVID test centre to which you´ll be taken
  • A direct transfer in a Mercedes premium vehicle from Barcelona cruise port to the test centre, with enough room for all your luggage to fit in the vehicle boot
  • An antigen test, with no wait time upon arrival to the COVID test centre
  • While you get tested, your driver waits for you in the car with your luggage
  • Your antigen test certificate hand delivered to you or sent to your email 15 minutes after you got tested
  • After you got tested, your driver takes directly to Barcelona Airport

However, if you prefer to go to a test centre by your own means you should plan at least 4 hours and a half to get an antigen test between the moment you leave the cruise port and the moment you arrive at Barcelona Airport.

Cruise passenger getting a COVID test at the clinic in Barcelona
Cruise passenger getting a COVID test at the clinic in Barcelona

Therefore if you want to save time and avoid any worries and stress before your flight, we recommend you the Cruise Transfer and Antigen Test Package.

If you prefer to go to a test centre by your own means, whether you´ll be able to catch an afternoon flight back home depends on several factors:

  • the time you´ll actually be out of Barcelona cruise port
  • the queue there will be at the taxi rank for you to take a taxi to a test centre
  • the queue there will be at the testing centre
  • the wait time to get your COVID test certificate
  • your luggage check-in time at the airport
  • your flight boarding time

If you need an antigen test, you´ll need to have a minimum of 3 hours and a half ahead of you approximately between the moment you´re out of the cruise port and your flight departure time, on a very tight schedule. To be on the safe side and avoid any stress we recommend you add one additional hour in case of any unexpected event, so a minimum of 4 hours and a half. If you want to have lunch before your flight, or do some shopping at the airport, you should also consider some extra time when making your time calculations.

 If you want to save lots of time and avoid any stressful situation before taking your flight, it is a good idea to opt for the Cruise Transfer and Antigen Test Package. If you need a PCR test, you´ll need to have a minimum of 7 hours ahead of you between the moment you´re out of the cruise port and your flight departure time. Note that you will get your test certificate within 3 hours after getting tested, so we recommend you have at least 5 hours ahead of you between the moment you get tested and your flight boarding time, just so that you have 2 hours extra time in the unlikely event that there is an issue with your PCR test certificate such as typo on your certificate that needs to be fixed by the test centre.

Below on this page you´ll find a time calculation table that will help you calculate the earliest time you can book your flight to fly back home the same day you disembark from your cruise if you go to a test centre after your cruise by taxi. If you go with the Cruise Transfer and Antigen Test Package, you won't have to wait at the Cruise Port taxi rank for a taxi as your driver will be waiting for you right at the exit of your cruise terminal to take you to the COVID test centre. The same driver waits for you in the car while you get tested to then take you directly to the airport after your test.

Note that your disembarking time is not the time at which you´ll be out of Barcelona cruise port. There will be hundreds of people disembarking at the same time from your cruise, and it will take time before you are out of the cruise port with your luggage. Therefore we recommend you check on your cruise documentation what is your disembarking time and check with your cruise company at what time you can expect to be out of the cruise port.

Note that if you prefer to go to the test centre by your own means, you´ll need to take a taxi to the test centre and that you might have to wait in line at the port taxi rank before you can get in a taxi. This is all time that you need to consider before booking your flight back home if you want to fly the same day you disembark from the cruise.

If you are out of the cruise port early in the morning and have a late afternoon flight, then you should have enough time to get tested, receive your COVID test certificate and catch your flight. That is if you get tested at a test centre that works with appointments to avoid wait times and if the test centre is able to provide your COVID test certificate quickly, which we strongly recommend.

You should also consider that you might test positive. If that were the case, you´d probably want to have some time ahead of you to be able to reschedule your flight before your flight departure time.

If you need an antigen test, and if you want to save lots of time and avoid any stressful situation before taking your flight, we recommend you the Cruise Transfer and Antigen Test Package that includes:

  • A driver waiting for you at the exit of your cruise terminal, together with a coordinator from the COVID test centre to which you´ll be taken
  • A direct transfer in a Mercedes premium vehicle from Barcelona cruise port to the test centre, with enough room for all your luggage to fit in the vehicle boot
  • An antigen test, with no wait time upon arrival to the COVID test centre
  • While you get tested, your driver waits for you in the car with your luggage
  • Your antigen test certificate is hand-delivered to you or sent to your email 15 minutes after you got the test
  • After you get tested, your driver takes you directly to Barcelona Airport

Alternatively, if you prefer to sort out your transport by our own means, we recommend you to get tested at a test centre we recommend that delivers antigen FIT-TO-CRUISE test certificates 15 minutes after getting tested.

If you need a PCR test, the test centre we recommend can provide a FIT-TO-CRUISE PCR test certificates within 3 hours.


If you get tested at a test centre that works with appointments only to avoid wait times, it will be very quick to get tested. The links provided on this page are for a COVID test centre that works with appointments so that you do not have to wait in long lines before getting tested.

You will need around 10 minutes at the test centre between the moment you check in at the reception of the test centre, you provide and check your personal details that will go on your COVID test certificate, you get tested and you leave the test centre. The testing itself only takes a few seconds.

The test centre we have listed on this page is located in the city centre of Barcelona, near the Sagrada Familia, at a 25 minutes taxi ride from the cruise port. We do not know of any test centre near the cruise port.

Therefore you shouldn´t need more than 45 minutes to get from the cruise port to this test centre and to get tested, once you´re in the taxi. Remember you might have to wait in line before getting on a taxi.

Then it will take you around 30 minutes to get from the test centre near the Sagrada Familia to Barcelona Airport by taxi.

You´ll most likely need to be at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight departure time, depending on your airline luggage check-in closing time. Make sure to check the time limit for luggage check-in at the airport.

You´ll find below a time calculation table, based on a best case scenario where you´re out of the cruise port at the taxi rank at 10:00. With this best case scenario you have almost no wait time at the cruise port taxi tank, there´s no traffic to get to the testing centre, you do not arrive late for your appointment at the test centre and can get tested on time, you receive your test certificate on time, there´s no traffic to go to the airport and no clerical error on your certificate that needs a little extra time to be fixed.

Based on that best case scenario, you should also consider a scenario where things do not go as smoothly and add some additional time.

Time calculation table to go to a COVID test centre by taxi, on a best case scenario:

Antigen test PCR test
09:45 - You leave your cruise terminal
10:00 - You´re out of the cruise port
10:30 - You´re in the taxi headed to the test centre after queuing at the taxi stop
10:55 - You arrive at the test centre
11:05 - You get tested
11:10 - Taxi arrives
11:15 - You´re in the taxi to the airport
11:20 - You receive your antigen test certificate to your email
11:45 / 12:00 – You arrive at the airport with plenty of time to check in your luggage, go through security check, find a restaurant, have lunch, find your boarding gate, etc.

09:45 - You leave your cruise terminal
10:00 - You´re out of the cruise port
10:30 - You´re in the taxi headed to the test centre
10:55 - You arrive at the test centre
11:05 - You get tested
11:10 - Taxi arrives
11:15 - You´re in the taxi to the airport
11:45 / 12:00 - You arrive at the airport with plenty of time to check in your luggage, go through security check, find a restaurant, have lunch, find your boarding gate, etc.
14:05 – You receive your PCR test certificate, well ahead of your boarding time so that you don´t feel stressed checking your inbox every 5 minutes to see if you´ve received your PCR test certificate.

Generally speaking, the more time you have before catching your flight, the better.

Also remember there´s always a chance you could test positive, which is something you will want to consider so that you have enough time to reschedule your flight before it is too late to do so. It might be worth spending some extra money and stay an overnight in Barcelona to be able to reschedule your flight back home before it is too late in case you test positive.

The testing centres have informed us that approximately 5% of people tested positive. If you test positive and you have booked with the Sagrada Familia test centre or the “At Home” testing services or the Cruise Travellers Pakage we have listed on our site then they have a special service to assist you unlike most other test centres that do not provide any support services if you test positive.



Comments or questions about COVID tests for Barcelona cruise passengers

Please note that all fields with an asterisk * must be filled in for the form to be submitted.
* Name*
*E-mail Address*
*Country*
*Your Home City*
Your question here
*Tick the box on the right to agree to these Terms and Conditions*

If you can see the fields below, please do not change their values.

Please click the submit button only once - it could take up to 30 seconds to receive a confirmation screen

Back To The Top Of The Page