LESS than a year ago, the anti-cruise platform was steaming and gathering support in Mallorca, today, there appears to have been a sea-change with people calling for the return of the cruise ship to help the local economy, particularly in the centre of Palma.

Personally, I am not convinced of the economic benefits the cruise industry brings to Mallorca. The bulk of the port taxes paid etc. go to Madrid, which still controls the major ports and within the corridors of power in Majorca, some senior politicians don’t believe that hordes of cruise passengers yomping round Palma on guided tours paid onboard, sit well with those visitors who have paid substantial amounts of money for a relaxing weekend in one the capital’s many excellent boutique hotels.

The cruise industry has it well organised, groups are either bussed in to the city in the morning and then back for lunch onboard, or after lunch so they can return in time to dine on their liner - cruise ships may being plenty of footfall but it doesn’t translate into big Euros for Palma. The cruise industry is getting ready to set sail, but not into the Mediterranean.

Liners which used to visit once or even twice a week will be spending next year cruising the waters off Asia, Australia or the United States - Europe appears to be off their lists. Apart from Covid maybe the initial message has hit home and they don’t feel wanted.