Four cruise ships at one time at Palma's port. | G. ALOMAR

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The international cruise industry is all too aware of the need to adapt and become more sustainable. An increasing number of cruise ships are becoming more environmentally friendly and are switching to alternative fuels. Like it or not, one has to recognise that the cruise industry is doing its best to clean up its act and its image. And, while Palma does not quite know where it properly stands on the issue, the culmination of the war in Ukraine, which is making many cruise lines nervous about operating in the Eastern Mediterranean, what is clear is that demand for visits to Palma is extremely high.

Cruise lines, rather likes the airlines, cannot dictate their markets and if people want a cruise which takes in Palma so be it. Plus, the cruise lines are now thinking out of the box. For example, the new direct flights from New York to Palma offer cruise extensions while one leading cruise line has just launched a Mediterranean golf cruise which takes in Palma and features some of the island’s best courses. This is a big bucks cruise, who knows, a cycling cruise could be next and these two sectors of the tourist industry generate a lot of money. It’s quality tourism and if they come on a cruise ship instead of a plane, what’s the difference? Obviously, cruise traffic has to be monitored in Palma, at times the city can’t cope with the footfall, but if passengers are now going golfing, give it a shot.