The entrance to the marina within the large harbour is easy. Yacht Port Cartagena is the marina to the E. VHF Ch 9, English spoken. No real reception pontoon, a marinero will help you to a berth. Short stay visitors are often berthed alongside the innermost pontoon; as you come in keep the the outer quay (where the big cruise ships moor) to your left and go straight ahead. The office is in the right hand corner of the marina. Office staff and marineros all very friendly and very helpful and English spoken. Mooring possiblities: bow or stern to low floating pontoons with a mooring line, some finger berths, and alongside mooring is possible if there is room (there was, winter 2010/2011).
Free wifi for one computer for long stay boats, or at the computer in the internet“cafe”.
There are 2 large washing machines, 1 dryer, coins € 4.
Shopping: The nearest Mercadona 00:10 walk, Lidl and a large Carrefour a bit further on, a large indoor market, Eroski 00:20 bike ride. Large El Corte Inglés department store. Plenty of other shops, like you may expect from a fair sized town. The office will give you a map, but get another one with all the touristy bits at the tourist office.
Chandlers: 1: In the fishing port E of the marina (not cheap). 2: Another one a few minutes further down the road to the left has a good stock but not in sight, so ask. One of the staff speaks English. 3: Accastillage Diffusion, in the industrial area at Torreciega. Bus number 4 or 00:30 by bike. At the shopping centre Espacio Mediterraneo there is a Leroy Merlin, also bus number 4.
Batteries we bought at Batemur on the industrial estate in Torreciega and we got a good deal.
Stainless steel work we've had done in a place a few minutes further on from chandler number 2, not very cheap nor very excellent, but acceptable.
Fuel on the W side of the marina, card operated.
Shipyards: 1: XXXL-size travellift in the fishing port. It is not allowed to do your own antifouling (unless you pay ± € 10 for each litre of antifouling you apply and which you had already bought yourself!). Staying on board overnight is allowed. 2: A 15 ton crane, next to the fuel quay in the area between the two marinas. It is allowed to do your own work but only by one person and it is not allowed to stay on board overnight.
Medical: we both had good treatments at dentist Practiser, Calle Juan Fernandez, 53. If you happen to be around the corner in the Mar Menor: Clinica Dental Alemana in La Manga is very good. We experienced very long waiting hours for first aid at the Urgencias in the hospital behind Carrefour; a better bet would be the new hospital just outside the town to the E (first train station on the line to Los Nietos). A good vet we found at Hospital Veterinario Cartagonova, Calle Grecia, 15, behind Carrefour.
We found Yacht Port Cartagena VERY suitable for wintering. We experienced some funny swell when we were there in May and October, but in wintertime (2010/2011) there was generally hardly any movement in the water, except for a tug or so racing past, or when there was a real gale. The winter weather is mild as Cartagena is just around the corner away from the mistral area and also far away enough from the Gibraltar Strait storms and rains. The lowest temperatures we experienced was one night of 1°C. But extremes might occur like anywhere in the Med. Security okay with card operated gates. Lots of boats just parked and left for the winter, but we had a nice small group of permanent liveaboards and – for a change – not a British majority but a good variety of nationalities. There were not a great deal of social activities going on, but we had our weekly bar night and several barbecues together. Cartagena is a very pleasant medium sized town, very Spanish with not many tourists except when a cruise ship comes in which doesn't really happen in winter and they never stay for the night. There are many museums and cultural activities. We especially liked the Roman Theatre Museum and Arqua, the underwater archeological museum. See www.simplynetworking.com for English information about what's on as events are often announced only at short notice. Highlights are Semana Santa, the week before Easter and the Romans & Cartagenians Festival in September. There was a jazz festival, a cinema festival (finally we saw an English spoken film in Spain), a guitar festival, a dance festival, to name some, and most of them free. Plenty of cycling and walking opportunities nearby and also just a bit further on but within good reach by bus or train. Bus and two train stations at a 00:10/00:15 walk. The town centre is just across the road, however there is not much town or traffic noise inside the marina. Needless to say we enjoyed it enormously.
Prices similar to Aguadulce or Almerimar depending in which (favourable/unfavourable) price category your boat is. http://www.cartagenamarina.es/berth_rates.php?id=4. The price mentioned in the monthly column is for a month of 31 days. Note: IVA now 18%, otherwise prices haven't changed. Positive for us: no straw splitting about our wide beam. Note also that long stay boats (over 3 months) pay the low rate not only in winter but in summer as well. From 1st November until 1st May it might actually work out cheaper to be moored in the Real Club marina, the neighbour to the W, but there more swell and more town noise is experienced and there were less liveaboarders.
Anchorage within the harbour moles is not allowed. We've seen yachts anchored at Cala Cortina and E of Cabo Tiñoso, but it's likely there will often be some swell.