The Princedam in Alcudia in summer 2015. | Archive

The director-general of Ports de les Illes Balears, the regional government's ports authority, has admitted that there is a problem with cruise tourism. Xavier Ramis said yesterday that an analysis of cruise ship arrivals to ports in the Balearics should be an issue for the new government.

Ramis suggested that a possibility would be to "diversify the times for arrivals" of ships in Palma and added that Alcudia could take more ships. The government, the island councils and town halls should therefore work together in studying cruise ship movement in order to "avoid points of massification".

Ports de les Illes Balears, it should be noted, does not have much responsibility for cruise ships, as these typically only dock at state ports which fall under the Balearic Ports Authority - Palma, Alcudia, Mahon, Ibiza and La Savina. In respect of Alcudia, capacity is very limited. The commercial port can only handle one cruise ship of comparatively small dimensions at one time. Cala Ratjada and Puerto Soller have been mentioned as other alternatives, but their capacities are very limited.

The background to the observations by Ramis is the Balearic Ports Authority's announcement of a seven per cent increase in the number of cruise ships in Palma between June and September. The regional government can have its say about the number of cruise ships, as can Palma town hall, but neither have regulatory authority for the ships.