The cruise industry has been virtually sunk by the pandemic but is has just about managed to stay afloat and now some lines are planning on setting sail again.
One already has, but it ended in disaster. Almost 400 passengers sailing on board the Norwegian cruise line MS Roald Amundsen which departed on July 17 and 24 have had to go into quarantine and yesterday, Hurtigruten chief operating office Bent Martini has stepped down while investigations continue into the Covid-19 outbreak on board.
Nevertheless, AIDA and MSC, which operate some of the largest cruise liners in the world, are going ahead with plans to set sail in September and both are usually regular visitors to Palma - but they are staying clear of Spain and the Balearics and opting for the Norwegian fjords, Italy and Greece.
What is more, MSC’s cruises will initially be open solely to residents of Schengen-area countries, meaning UK passengers are excluded. I doubt we’ll see a cruise ship in Palma this year, perhaps not until the Spring.
At the moment, they are still prohibited from entering Spanish waters, which suits the growing anti-cruise movement just fine.
The trouble is Spain, including the Balearics, is being added to the “no go” list of an increasing number of countries and like it or not, Palma, not to mention the rest of the island, needs some footfall willing to splash some cash and fast otherwise the whole island will sink.