Staff Reporter

THE cruise ship Royal Iris ruled out making her scheduled stop in Palma last Friday because of the tug boat workers strike, according to sources from the Port Authority.

During the past week two cruise ships have cancelled their stops in Palma as the port cannot guarantee the availability of tug service because of the workers strike.

According to Port Authority sources, after the Queen Elizabeth II cancelled her stop in the port of Palma, the Royal Iris followed suit and also refused to make her scheduled stop in the Balearic capital on August 3.

The same sources indicated that these types of ships have enough manoeuvring capability to dock in the port of Palma when the climatic conditions are favourable.

However, if there is a strong wind or any other adverse conditions, they need to be manoeuvred by tugs.
Until now the strike by tug boat staff has scarcely had any impact on the expected arrivals of cruise ships, due to the good weather and the confidence which the captains have of being able to manoeuvre their ships within the port of Palma.

In addition to this, as a last resort, the cruise ships know that they can anchor in the Bay of Palma.
As reported by the Bulletin earlier, the Queen Elizabeth II has cancelled her scheduled stop in the port of Palma, and will now be making a stop in Valencia instead.

The Queen Elizabeth II, which belongs to the shipping line Cunard & Seabourn Cruise Lines, will today tie up at 10am in the port of Valencia and set sail again at 6pm. The ship is 293 metres long, 32 metres wide and has a draught of 9.75 metres.

As for the strike, five of the nine tug boat workers in the port of Palma have been on strike since July 19 in protest at what they consider to be discrimination in comparison to the conditions of tug workers in other State run ports.

The strike has not spread due to the fact that the Spanish Government's representative to the islands established a minimum service, which encompasses both merchant and passenger ships.