Cartagena (Murcia) - General Info

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This is an important naval port on the South East corner of Spain, as well as being a busy commercial and fishing harbour.

Cruiser Highlights:

Many cruisers choose Cartagena as a place to winter as not only is it a well-serviced town with attractive sights, it is well situated to be out of the firing line of the Westerly storms that can shoot through the Straits of Gibraltar heading East and tucked in enough to miss the Autumn and Spring North Easterlies. Cartagena has approx. 300 days of sunshine a year and a reasonably mild winter climate, plus an airport serviced by all the budget airlines close by at Murcia/San Javier.

Entrance Notes and Cautions:

Care should be taken on entering due to the volume of shipping. Strong onshore winds can create quite a build-up of sea at the entrance. The only downside of this port is its popularity as a cruise ship stopover. On those days there are hoards of tourists swarming through the City.


37° 34.93’N, 00° 59.02’W (harbor entrance)

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Cartagena (Murcia) was last updated 11 months ago.

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  1. December 25, 2020 at 12:28 PM
    hakast says:

    Read the comment from Gavin French (who actually got expelled from Spain)

    This is my experience from ASCAR:
    We had a crack in the hull just in front of the keel with water coming into the boat.

    Two days before Christmas Eve we contacted them, they lifted us up and started the glassfiber job immediately, work continued over Christmas Eve and back in water after two days.

    Everything was done properly, because of what I read below I was suspicious and contacted a friend in Sweden who is also a specialist, sent him pictures from what was going on and he told me that I should not worre, this guy knows what he is doing.

    Ok, ASCAR had specialists but what about the payment, would they rip me off?
    Transfered a big amount to my Credit card for all eventualities and walked up to their office.

    The laminating job, antifouling, up and down costed me 1 470 euro which is a decent price. Will add once again that the craftmanship was excellent.

  2. February 28, 2020 at 4:40 AM
    waterdogs says:

    We had a very poor experience at boat yard ASCAR. Others have said good things. My “facts”: osmosis center they say but the boss Fran didn’t know his moisture meter had different settings and almost put epoxy barrier paint over wet fairing on my hull and that was after i told him of my moisture meter findings, laminating experts they say but never heard of amine blush, quoted hand sanding to finish atter sand blasting so as to not damage my hull but at one point sent men with angle grinders who cut off fairing compound but also cut right through outer skin of hull into my foam core, left masking tape from sand blasting on for weeks which damaged paint and did not accept responsibility, flicked epoxy resin all over my freeboard three feet up when rolling it into underwater area, had a fixed quote but the job changed significantly mid way due to problems with my fairing and I was told they would revert to an hourly rate or make a new quote “that would be very high”, made me wait for 4 days to launch after 5 weeks in the yard because not convenient to move a boat they put in front of me, bill at the end was crafty deleting wording from initial quote and moving some sanding hours out into the hourly rate section, 6000 euro initial quote became 22 000, 6000 euros to just sandblast fairing of my hulls, another 6000 to laminate a layer, 6 000 for “other”, offered to let me pay half my 22 000 Euro bill in cash, standard threat to not launch my boat if i did not pay up, boss Fran never once said sorry for anything and always tried to dodge responsibility for problems even when unequivocal like resin on freeboard.

  3. January 2, 2019 at 5:41 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Since September 2018 there has been a spate of theft of personal belongings such as bicycles and an attempt to break into a yacht has been reported. The marina management has on numerous occasions failed to act to prevent these crimes.

    The marina has a 1.5M glass wall around it which is easy to jump over and as there is no security at night it’s easy to gain access. Since my arrival in September 2018, there have been about ten bicycles stolen so far. What once was considered as the best place to winter in the Med is sadly deteriorating.

  4. October 30, 2018 at 3:55 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Carthagena September 2018

    Highly recommended. This bay is one of very few naturally protected harbours on the east coast of Spain and is therefore also used as a base for Spanish navy.

    Electricity and water on every berth. Good toilet and shower facilities and excellent 24/7 gated security. Spar and Lidl inside the city, however a bit long to carry heavy items.

    The marina personnel speaks excellent English and are very helpful. They helped me getting in contact to a rigger to check my mast, and Hood sailmaker (in Murcia), that eventually did a repair on five of my sails.

    Found there to be a good vibe, many people who do wintering here, also after trying marinas further west or east. The city itself is very interesting. NB! Often there might be 1-2 huge cruising ship berthed just outside the marina, sending hordes of tourists into the city centre.

    Pål Andreas Dahl, SY Murphy`s Law, Norway

  5. February 6, 2018 at 10:08 PM
    Data Entry says:

    We spent 5 months here from June-Oct 2017, we were berthed close to the town quay, which was well protected from swell & winds but meant there was no circulation of fresh water which meant we did suffer significantly with growth which unfortunately restricted our sailing. We had to arrange for a lift out which meant two scrubs in one year( so we were none too pleased) We believe this is due to the sewage overflowing into the marina in bad weather.

    Speaking to other boat owners they also suffered from excessive growth in short periods. This should not distract visiting Cartagena as the city is definitely worth exploring.

  6. March 26, 2017 at 3:20 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Some insight into the Cartagena winter community:

  7. March 26, 2017 at 3:17 PM
    Data Entry says:

    I spent the winter in YPC. Good facilities, friendly staff and great community. The town is also worth visiting. It’s a well-protected marina, except in strong Southerly swells.

    The adjoining RCR is more open to swell and not gated off from the public.

    The prices are very reasonable. During my stay, there was a special offer for catamarans to pay the same price as monohulls. Consequently, there were a lot of cats with liveaboards.

    The marina is also great at recommending people and suppliers for jobs on boats. I didn’t use the nearby boatyard but heard good things about it.

  8. March 16, 2017 at 1:25 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Boat notes stayed at the RCRC – Real Club de las Regatas, Cartagena.

  9. March 3, 2017 at 10:46 AM
    Data Entry says:

    February 2017: €20 for 13,80 monohull. Nice staff, very good English. Mooring at the twin quay without security, wifi didn’t work. Cartagena well worth seeing, we took the kids to the underwater archaeology museum and the bunker museum, both in walking distance of the port.

  10. October 16, 2015 at 8:11 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Spent some time in Yacht Port Cartagena. Marina, facilities and staff are great and helpful. Nice city. Two chandleries right near the marina: one in a fish port – exit marina and go right 200m. Called Oscar. The second one could be found if you continue to go right along the shore for about 500m more. If they don’t have something they can order it in one-two days.

    A few supermarkets in the area: Mercadonna, Dia, Lidle Consume. Next, to Mercadonna, there is a Naval Electronic shop – very little English unfortunately.
    In the industrial area (Polygone) there is a big and good shop for camping\sailing\diving\sport equipment and clothes. Right next to it there is a big shop Leroy and Mereline – a lot of tools, bolts, metal and wood.

    The last and most important thing: God bless John Snow from “One stop Yacht Care” and Patrick who pointed me to him in the comments! Fixed and tuned my engine (3 other mechanics couldn’t), helped with hatches, wind vane, electricity and 1000 pieces of advice and explanations he gave for free that saved me a lot of nerves and money. Great guy, honestly.

  11. September 7, 2015 at 5:45 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Just arrived in Yacht Port Cartegena. Office people spoke clear English. Berthed inside so not too much rolling swell. New shower facility is finished. Free wifi, electricity and water for a 43ft @ Euro 42 a night in mid-Sept.

  12. June 21, 2015 at 10:11 AM
    Data Entry says:

    Cartagena (Yacht Port Cartagena) was relatively new when the previous comments were made & believe correct. It has had a lot more money spent on the marina with new shower blocks. Vessels causing wash have been controlled because of complaints (thanks to sailors). Port is VERY pretty?? There 5 chandlers now that I am aware of. Only 3 of them are worth trying first for your needs!
    Still GOOD PRICES for being right in a beautiful & safe city.

    We have done the maths & bought property here! Friendly people too!

  13. November 7, 2014 at 9:18 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Cartagena best-kept secret has to be John Snow from One Stop Yacht care. John is one of the most accomplished all-round mechanics I’ve had the pleasure to deal with. He is very knowledgeable about all aspects of yachting and couldn’t be more helpful. Tel (+34) 659323243 e [email protected]

  14. August 13, 2014 at 8:09 AM
    Data Entry says:

    Posted on behalf of SY ChaliVentures III (US flagged)
    I can’t say enough good things about Cartagena, Spain. We’re REALLY looking forward to spending several months there. We just spent 8 days there before crossing over to Morocco. The newer marina, Yacht Port Cartagena, is constructed so that no one is ever too far from town. It’s not too huge. We were warned by several cruisers who stayed there that it was a little “bouncy,” but we didn’t find it bad at all during 25kt winds.

    It must be a matter of personal sensitivities, and most likely located within the marina! Some of the berths are more protected than others from the comings and goings of the commercial and fishing traffic.
    Facilities are good; there are 2 washing machines and a dryer, and the office staff and marineros are all super friendly and helpful.

    There are at least 4 supermarkets, a Carrefour hypermarket and a daily fresh food market all a short or medium bike ride away (<1km). The modernist architecture of many of the buildings, the Roman and Carthaginian antiquities, and the whole ambience of the town all contribute to an exceedingly pleasant place to be!

    There’s no airport, but there are buses and trains to Murcia, Alicante or Almeria airports.

  15. August 1, 2014 at 7:51 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Posted on behalf of SY Tru Blu

    Yacht Port Cartagena
    Alongside berthing – use lazy lines to hold off the pontoon with the little swell that gets in sometimes. Friendly marina right in the town centre.
    For Tru Blu, a 12.15m * 3.95m Oceanis 40, charged €28/night – no wifi, water and electricity on the meter. Good security

    Also Real Club. It has a clubhouse but visitors seem to be alongside the Quay wall.

  16. December 2, 2013 at 8:33 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Re chandleries: there are 2 in Cartagena. One on the western edge of the town, near the town hall. This one is a bit touristy but sells most stuff. The other on the eastern edge, just past the fishing harbour.

    They call these shops Naval effects/supplies. The steel double-spring mooring systems sold here are very useful for the surges mentioned – €30 each for 12 m yacht – buy 2.

  17. November 10, 2013 at 5:44 AM
    Data Entry says:

    Posten on behalf of 786Global

    Can confirm all of the above! (Visited in October 2013). Harbour is very ugly and the swell and wake from Container-, Fishing- & Navy ships are significant which does make mooring at one of the floating jetties not too comfortable.
    But the town is extremely pretty and picturesque so very well worth a (short!) visit.
    Good pricing!

    Be aware when entering or exiting the harbour; Due to the nature of the entrance, it is quite possible that you literally suddenly are facing a huge container-ship or cruise liner.

    Have been looking for a chandlery – found nothing.

  18. October 25, 2013 at 6:56 PM
    Data Entry says:

    New shower block nearly finished at YachtportCartagena marina – new building is seen in mid-Sept 2013, inside the main gate – just needed internal plumbing. Existing shower block + washing machines at the Western end of the marina is excellent. Container-based showers [not too bad at all] will probably be removed when new block is finished.

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