Cruise ships in Palma port. | G. Alomar


The euphoria about having a nuclear warship moored in the Bay of Palma for the best part of five days was frantic. 6,000 US servicemen and women coming ashore and apparently spending millions of euros. During the carrier's visit, a number of the world's largest cruise ships moored in Palma carrying even more passengers, but little if anything was said about the income they might have brought to the island.

There was an eerie silence from the local government, which has recently been slammed as “anti-tourist” by the retail and commercial sectors for its war on cruise ships; while the USA was in town, not a word. However, it’s not just Palma where cruise ships are getting a lukewarm welcome.

In Norway, for example, the biggest cruise destination in Europe, it’s all-out war. Although the industry has been adamant that the environmental damage is decreasing due to the introduction of LNG-powered vessels and the promise to be carbon neutral in 2050, protesters in five Norwegian ports met cruise ship passengers this week stating their presence is not wanted.

CruiseNOTWelcome hopes to draw attention to what it calls the detrimental impact the cruise industry has on the environment. The posters stated: “Please go back to your boat and tell all on board that you are parasites. You are NOT welcome in Norway!” others read, “CRUISE? Just don’t!” Will Palma go that far? I doubt it.