Will the major cruise lines honour their agreement with the Balearic government? | CCL

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It would appear that the Balearic government is going to have a battle on two fronts when it starts enforcing its limits on cruise ships next year.

Apart from the fact that the Port of Palma is managed by the State Port Authority in Madrid, not Palma, major cruise lines which apparently signed up to last winter’s so-called Hamburg agreement appear to be having second thoughts.

This year, many have been given permission to continue operating as normal in Palma as the industry emerges from the pandemic, however, many cruise lines are already announcing extensive cruise programmes for next year and Palma is included in nearly all of the itineraries.

For example, only yesterday Celebrity Cruises announced an all-year operation in the Mediterranean starting later this year and it will be featuring Palma as one of its highlight ports of call.

And, as Palma is an “international port” it does not have the power to refuse ships entry, hence who two cruise ships hit by Covid made emergency calls into Palma.

So, the big questions is can Palma limit cruise ships if the cruise lines, and more importantly their passengers, want to come to Palma? In reality the short answer is no.

Negotiations with Madrid are said to still be ongoing, but will Madrid want to miss out on an attractive source of income? I doubt it.