Private Barcelona Day Tours v. Cruise-Sponsored Day Tours

The shuttle bus rumbles to life. Barcelona’s sunshine cascades in through a tinted window. You can see the Mediterranean sparkling crystal blue against an equally azure morning sky.

Then, the bus heats up. The person next to you launches into a coughing fit. Someone behind you is practically yelling at his friend back home in the United States. “I MADE IT TO BARCELONA! I’M IN THE SHUTTLE BUS NOW AND WE’RE ABOUT TO LEAVE,” he roars.

Suddenly, the shore excursion you booked through your cruise ship company doesn’t seem like such a good idea. The price was right, you think, but the experience is turning out to be wrong. Your bus lurches forward as several others follow behind you like cattle.

We believe no cruiser should ever have to endure this experience, and that’s why we believe private shore excursions with Barcelona Experience are worth every penny.

Driving up to Montjuic in the privacy and comfort of a Barcelona Experience private day tour.
A client enjoying her trip to Montjuic in the comfort of her own private car.


Many cruisers book cruise-sponsored tours under the assumption that it’s cheaper and easier and what you sacrifice in quality is counterbalanced by price. Also, cruise companies sell their cruisers on the fact that you’ll never be late for the ship. We’ll break down the numbers and the facts for you:

Private Shore Excursion From Barcelona to Montserrat and Penedés Wine Country

  • Norwegian Cruise Line: $118 per person (in theory…Norwegian doesn’t offer the option of doing two tours in one day
  • Barcelona Experience: $140 per person (based on a six-person private driving tour of Montserrat and the Penedés wine country)

What does that $22 price difference get you? Great question (click here to read more about the advantages of taking a Barcelona shore excursion with us):

  • Reliability: We always get you back to the ship on time
  • Privacy: No fighting with dozens of cruisers for your guide’s attention
  • Freedom: Stop for a photo or take a detour through a charming village whenever you’d like
  • Comfort: A spacious, air-conditioned private vehicle
  • Exclusivity: Just you, your guide and your closest friends or family
  • Flexibility: We custom-create your itinerary to meet your need
  • Familiarity: Our guides are easy-to-understand and fluent in English

For only a few dollars more, your Barcelona experience becomes your Barcelona experience. Coaches can’t stop on the side of the road so you can take a picture, nor will they make u-turns so you can explore a small village that caught you eye.

You won’t be herded around as you hope to hear what your guide is saying amid the buzz of Barcelona’s busy streets.

The price-to-value ratio of a Barcelona Experience private tour is unbeatable.

Private Driving Tour of Barcelona

  • Norwegian Cruise Line Full-Day Private Car: $1,100 USD per person for two people
  • Barcelona Experience Full-Day Private Car: $800 USD flat fee for up to five people

Norwegian offers private tours, but, as the numbers attest, the price difference is vast. Our private driving tours of the city offer you the luxury and comfort of your own car, as well as the convenience of having your own personal guide and your own personal driver.

If you want to read more about our driving day tours of Barcelona and beyond, click on a destination that interests you: Barcelona, Girona, Dali country, Tarragona, Costa Brava, Penedés wine country, Montserrat.


Private Walking Tour of Barcelona

There’s nothing like spending your day in a tour where you explore by foot the hidden and not-so-hidden treasures of Barcelona’s ancient and modern culture. The quickest way to spoil the experience, though, is to join a group of 25 tourists who also want to explore the city.

Large groups of 25 tourists can make walking tours miserable, whereas a private walking tour with Barcelona Experience is an enjoyable journey.
Can you spot the guide? Public tours typically have 25 people and few moments to savor the sights.

Quiet squares become crowded spots where you are fighting with 25 other people to hear your guide. Need to ask a question? You’ll need to elbow your way to the front of the crowd to be heard. That’s life in the public tour herd, though.

Fighting for a guide's attention amid 24 other toursits is not something you have to do when you take a private walking tour with Barcelona Experience.
A guide and her 24 tourists crowding together in one of Barcelona’s squares.

Our private walking day tours are different. The difference in cost between one of our walking tours and a cheaper public tour is the factor which determines whether you feel like you saw Barcelona as a tourist and or you saw Barcelona as a local. For us, that’s what makes all the difference:

  • Privacy: Your walking tours are exclusive to you or your small group.
  • Thorough: You’ll hear all the stories and the history
  • Attention: Your guide gives his focus to you, not you and 25 other travelers
  • Immersion: Feeling like a local is easy when it’s just you and your guide
  • Flexibility: Having your own private guide allows you to change your itinerary at will

If you’d like to know more about our  tours, click here to explore what kind of private walking day tours Barcelona Experience offers and our prices and booking section.

Remember that scene in front of the cruise ship…the guy behind you yelling, the cougher next to you and the crowded bus lurching ahead of a line of coaches headed to the same destination? Or the scene from one of Barcelona’s squares where dozens of tourists are fighting for their guide’s attention?

You can paint a different picture. Contact us today to being planning your private shore excursion with Barcelona Experience.

What’s your experience been like with private tours and public tours? Have you noticed any difference between the two? Let us know with your comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *