Guardia Civil inspection of a booze cruise. | Archive


There is a legal vacuum when it comes to the regulation of party boats and which therefore prevents sanctions being taken against drunkenness in the same way that they can be in resorts.

However, this is about to all change. Following the lead of the Council of Ibiza, which has assumed responsibilities for tourism ordinance before the other island councils, the regional government is to establish a legal framework by which party boats will have to meet the same legal requirements as bars, restaurants and clubs.

One of the changes to be made is that there will have to be a registration of a tourist activity. This doesn't apply to party boats, though it does to all manner of tourist services, for example attractions and legitimate holiday rentals. The government will therefore be amending the tourism law in order to put a stop to the booze cruises which adversely affect the image of some resorts, Magalluf being one. Calvia town hall has long complained that it doesn't have the power to control party boats.

The only means of control until now have been through regulations on marine safety, which is an issue for the Guardia Civil, and on environmental impact. The law on environmental assessment, which came into force last summer, bans party boats from protected marine areas for which the regional government has responsibility.