Cruise ship limits in Palma are open for discussion again.

03-07-2009Gabriel Alomar

The Balearic transport minister, Marc Pons, yesterday confirmed that he is working with the Balearic Ports Authority (APB) and Palma town hall in order to try and "reduce the impact of cruise ships on the capital".

"The reality of the three islands is very different because, for example, in Mahon we are making an effort to attract more cruise ships and increase operations but here in Majorca the situation is different, so the approaches are different," he explained in parliament.

Pons made these statements in response to a question from the Podemos MP David Martinez about what measures the government intends to take to eradicate or minimise the environmental impact of cruise liners. The minister also stressed that the negotiations with the APB and town hall include the better management of the arrival of passengers in order to see how to tackle "the problem of saturation" in the city centre.

One of the main ideas is to spread the arrival of cruise ships out more over the course of the week in order to avoid having as many as six liners in port at the same time. Six is the current cap which was introduced by the government last year but it has not served to solve the problem.

There is also mounting concern about the levels of pollution created by cruise ships while docked in port. Pons explained that a proposal for the electrification of all Balearic ports is currently being worked on to "significantly reduce pollution" generated by ships in port.

The problem is that while docked, cruise liners keep their engines running to power the ships and Pons suggested that the idea is that cruise liners would link up to an electrical power network and not have to rely so much on their engines.