A Ferry from Spain to Rome ? Departing from Barcelona!

So what is the fastest way to get to Rome from Spain with 2 Adults, 2 Kids and a Car? Take the Ferry from Spain to Rome, of course.  Our summer travel plans have us exploring Italy, Switzerland and a bit of France and Spain.  We thought about driving along the Med going and then returning on a different route.  This was great, but we were so excited to visit Rome and wanted to get there as soon as possible, before the very hot and high tourist season.

A Ferry from Spain to Rome?

Flashback to 2013:

According to Google Maps, driving was going to be about 21 hours to Rome from Home.  So that would have taken several days of exploration along the way, as we didn’t want to feel rushed to go anywhere.  We checked out the ferry option and it was just a 9 hour drive to Barcelona and a 20 hour ferry crossing.  While this seems to be the longer route initially, it gets us to Rome in 2 days.  Not only that, but for the bulk of the trip we are relaxing and not driving.  Oh, now that was appealing and the family vote was unanimous, a ferry ride we take!

I know you are thinking “Hey, Rome isn’t on the coast.  How are they swinging this one?”.  Well, we aren’t really going all of the way to Rome on the ferry.  The Barcelona, Spain Ferry takes us to Civitavecchia, Italy and it is a quick 40 minute drive to Rome.  So there you have it.  We are really going to Civitavecchia, Italy and the remainder of the way in our car.


Ferry from Barcelona, Spain to Civitavecchia, Italy

Grimaldi Spain Ferry to Italy

Remember the check in process and parking was fairly straight forward.  Finally around midnight we get the signal that it is time load the ferry.  A security escort car drives by and signals for us all to follow.  Like little lemmings off we go, weaving in and out of stacked cargo containers to the very far side of the port.


We drove on in along with the 18 wheeler trucks and there was plenty of room to spare with 20 foot ceilings.  Then us “car people” had to drive up a level and things got a bit smaller.  The ceiling was maybe 7 feet and there was just enough room for us all to pack in with inches between bumpers.  We hurried out of the car as they were parking the next row right next to us.

4 berth outside cabinWe were then escorted to our cabin.  Yep, I said cabin.  As we were walking down our hall on the 9th floor, we had to make our way through about 10 rooms of college kids having a good time in the halls.  Spring break flashbacks were all around me.  Funny how I loved it then and now with 2 kids, I was just hoping our room was far away.  Nope!  we were right next door to all of the action.  The room wasn’t bad at all and the kids were so excited that we all had bunk beds!  By the time everyone was on the ferry, it was about 1 am before we set sail.  I know it was late, but the kids and I were very curious and explored the ship before settling into bed about 2:15 am.

We had a decent nights sleep, well everyone did but me.  The sea got a little rough for a few hours about 5am and of course I woke up and felt very green.  I just wanted it to stop.  By about 8am, I decided some fresh air would help.  I went up on deck and I think that about did me in.  It was warm fresh salty air and it seems to be worse there.  Back down to the cabin I went clutching the railings on the stairs, so I wouldn’t topple over.

Everyone was awake by about 10am and the kids said they slept well.  We hopped upstairs for breakfast about 11am and enjoyed all the ship had to offer.  Upon return to our cabin, we played some fun games and finally enjoyed calmer seas.  We arrived in Italy about 8:30pm.  Since we were one of the first on the ferry, we were one of the last off.  UG!  Oh well.

Overall it was a great experience and I would recommend taking the ferry.  It was very cost-effective for us and that is exactly what we wanted.
(The summary of our Summer road trip)

About the Ferry

It was Huge!  Much bigger than I anticipated for a car ferry.  I was more like a small bare-bones cruise ship.


Our ship was the M/v Cruise Roma with Grimaldi Lines.

  • Cost: Our cost was €390, seems a bit expensive, but it would have been a couple hundred Euros in fuel to drive along with a few nights hotel, so not too bad.  I have to admit that it would have been about  €100 less had I booked a couple of days prior.  I first viewed the schedule on May 30th and the total price was about  €285, we went away for the weekend.  Upon our return on June 2, I decided to book and the special that was offered ended on June 1.  Make note of the dates on any offers and book in advance!
        • 2 Adults – €70 total
        • 2 Children – €35 total
        • 1 Standard Car – €70 total
        • 4 berth outside cabin – €190 for full cabin
        • 4 pre paid standard breakfast – €10
        • Taxes and port fees €10
        • with a (- €35) discount for Family Special Offer
  • Rooms: 411 air-conditioned cabins with shower and WC, 50 Junior Suites, 18 Owner’s Suites, 150 reclining seats
  • Food options: Restaurant, self-service cafeteria, walk up bar on the deck and fast food lounge area. A bit expensive and not too many options: Pizza, Breaded Chicken and Fries, 1 Skewer of meat and fries, Hamburger or Hot dog.  From our previous experiences in Spain with the later, those weren’t options for us..  Luckily we brought some food with us.  Next time we will plan a bit better and bring more.
  • Entertainment:  We discovered a disco (for the teens), a casino, and an arcade as well as an entertainment lounge (which was closed).   The entertainment lounge was huge, so during high season it must get hopping. Also closed was the conference auditorium, with stadium style seating.  Rumor has it they sometimes show movies in there.  There was a wading pool and a plunge pool on deck, but it was closed as they were painting it.  To be honest, it was a bit too cold for the pool anyway.  They also have a children’s playroom and a wellness center.
  • Passenger capacity: 2,300 people
  • Garage capacity: 3,000 Trucks (18 wheeler)+ 215 cars.


Pin me for later!
Ferry from Spain to Italy (Barcelona to Rome) - A Ferry from Spain to Rome ? Are you nuts? Nope, it is a cost effective & stress free way to get from Barcelona to Civitavecchia, Italy. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

Things to do in Spain! Our Spain travel blog is loaded with tips for you to visit Spain, find deals on hotels, renting cars, Spanish customs, Spanish food and the way of life. An American family of 4 living in Spain from Aug 2012. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

Pleaes read our Complete guide of things to do in Spain by region.


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