Five cruise ships in Palma at once. | G. Alomar / Ruiz Collado


The Palma city council wants to limit the number of cruise ships to just one a day. The number of vessels visiting the port is already curbed thanks to legislation introduced by the previous administration. The problem is a sizeable part of Palma’s retail and bar and restaurant sector depends on cruise ship passengers.

The Association of Tour Guides have slammed the city council over their plans, claiming that the number of cruise ship visitors to the Port of Palma had already fallen by 17 percent. Some residents say that Palma is overcrowded. The problem is the city is not overcrowded, just some areas. The majority of cruise ship passengers are left by a fleet of coaches around the Cathedral area and from there they make their journey into the centre of Palma.

Remember that not all cruise ship passengers actually come ashore. Rather than having a single drop-off point, to ease overcrowding, I suggest that at least three points are established: next to the Cathedral, close to the main shopping areas in the Avenidas, at Bellver Castle and even at the Porto Pi shopping centre. This would certainly ease overcrowding in some areas of the city and also “spread the wealth”.

Granted that the city council may have to pay for additional buses but surely this is a small price to pay for easing the alleged overcrowding. Before introducing bans it is always best to find a solution to the present problems.