Symphony of the Seas, which will be greeted by a protest in Palma.

01-04-2018

The 23-S platform, which takes its title from the demonstration in Palma against so-called tourist "massification" on 23 September last year, is to stage a protest next Sunday (8 April). The target of the protest will be the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas, the giant cruise ship making its maiden voyage. It has capacity for 6,680 passengers plus over 2,000 crew.

Environmentalists GOB, who were heavily involved with the 23-S demonstration, are prime movers behind next Sunday's protest. In a video distributed on social media, attention is drawn to the contamination impact of cruise ships. The concentration of harmful particles from ships which keep their engines running while in port is said to be up to "200 times" higher than on a motorway.

The president of GOB, Amadeu Corbera, says that the protest will not be the only action by the 23-S platform. There is to be a "serious" social awareness and debate campaign on tourist "saturation" and on how to alter the situation. Further protest action has as yet to be defined.

According to forecasts from the State Ports, Palma can expect a 5% increase in the number of cruise ship passengers this year: the 1.75 million mark will be passed for the first time. The number of ships is due to rise from 540 to 567.

Palma town hall has taken measures to try and reduce the impact of large numbers of cruise ship tourists arriving in the city, but it and the regional government have no control over the number of ships which enter port at roughly the same time. The fact that six to seven ships can on occasion be in Palma on the same day has contributed to the sensation of "saturation".

Tourism minister Bel Busquets says that the arrival of thousands of passengers on one ship let alone several "is not the model" the government wants. But as with the scheduling of flights, the arrival of ships in Palma is a responsibility of the state. The government and the town hall have requested that ship arrivals are more staggered.

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Steve Riches / Hace 8 months

Biting the hand that feeds you is true stupidity

+2-

Fiona / Hace 8 months

We live here on the island and took a cruise last year leaving and returning to Palma.

What I noticed in every port we docked in - we were welcomed with maps of the town centres etc and there were a fleet of taxis waiting to ferry us to other areas. What I noticed at Palma when we disembarked- none of this, plus only a few taxis. Appalling service from Mallorca. Every port we visited we spent at least 200 to 300 - 4 of us. We went to Ibiza, Marseille, Pisa, Sardinia, Genoa.

Because of this trip I have since been back to Genoa and went to visit Florence. Also now planning a holiday in Sardinia as it was stunning.

If you do not greet the Cruise tourist why would they ever wish to return to Mallorca in the future.

This boat is only 5 cabins larger than the previous largest ship.

I thought I would hate cruising but I now realise it is a fabulous way to dip your toe into a country and to sense its attitude towards the holiday visitor.

Italy won hands down for friendliness.

+15-

S. / Hace 8 months

Are these huge Cruise Ships "Top Heavy " ?. 7000 plus people and a severe storm would test them. Also, are there enough Lifeboats for all those people ?. The queues at all service areas, and to evacuate the Ship, stop me from gong on board.

+-10-

Dick / Hace 8 months

There are probably more people commenting on this thread than will actually turn up to protest

+6-

Mike ( Belgium ) / Hace 8 months

The only good thing with these cruisers is that they leave after a few days. with the passengers The rubber boats with their passengers arrive but never leave again..... What is wrong in Morocco now ? No idea we know people who work there no issues at all .

+10-

RBMM / Hace 8 months

In an environmental perspective one cruise ship pollute more than several million cars up to 13 million cars according to different sources (e.g., https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/21/the-worlds-largest-cruise-ship-and-its-supersized-pollution-problem or . http://www.takepart.com/video/2015/04/23/cruise-info-graphic/). Journalists write more about revenues from the cruise liners than about the pollution problems. The problem is huge.

+0-

Richard Pearson / Hace 8 months

I wouldn´t worry too much about the cruise ships effluent waste going into the sea 12 miles offshore.

Palma´s untreated excess, which is a lot, goes into the bay of Palma, only 300 mts opp the Cathedral.

+7-

Steve / Hace 8 months

The discharge of effluent tanks at sea is not an issue, it's mostly treated and a biodegrageable waste. The issue is the ships running their generators to supply power when alongside, the diesel exhaust is a big worry. There is facilities to connect shore power cables and shut down the generators, but this would cost the cruise line more than running their own generators and would only shift the polution to the Islands own generators. I 'assume' the ships take measures to reduce the fuel use in harbour. Maybe shutting down all excess generators and running on just the one.

+4-

S. / Hace 8 months

Trying to stop plastic from going into the sea, is one concern, but if cruise effluent enters the sea, imagine what you are eating with sea food on your plate !.

+7-

Liz / Hace 8 months

These ships pay thousands of pounds to dock, that’s why they are not being controlled. The protests should be aimed at the government not the poor unsuspecting tourists. I believe that most captains respect the ocean as do other sailors, while the limit is 12 mile I doubt they would discharge tanks this close unless absolutely necessary

+9-