The yacht charters could be seen moored on the Paseo Maritimo in Palma. | Morey

Leading American global yacht charter company Sunsail, which has operated in Palma since 2013, has announced that it is closing down its base in Palma because the mooring fees are far too expensive.

Sunsail is a premium yacht charter brand within Travelopia and one of the world’s leading specialist travel groups, combining exceptional value sailing holidays with a cutting-edge fleet of 500 yachts in over 20 of the best cruising destinations worldwide catering for an international market, predominantly from the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Northern Europe.

However, the company has concluded that it is no longer financially viable to maintain its base in Palma.

Sunsail has 30 moorings for its Palma fleet and was having to pay 1,300 euros plus 21 percent IVA (VAT) per months for each one, taking mooring expenditure alone to over 80,000 euros per month.

The President of the APEAM Yacht Charter Association, Jose Maria Jimenez, said mooring rates in Palma are around 500 percent higher than in marinas in countries such as Croatia, Greece or Italy, countries which reported a marked increase in yacht charter business this summer while Spain experienced a near 25 percent fall in the number of large charter and super yachts.

Jimenez said that Sunsail’s decision is extremely worrying and could set a precedent. He said the port and marina authorities should address the issue and take proactive action to help the nautical industry in general by starting with the reduction of mooring fees.