The main cruise lines, such as Costa, MSC, Aida or TUI Cruises, have been adapting their fleets for months to comply with all the protocols imposed by the European Union in the current health crisis and get cruises sailing again.
May and June are the months chosen by some lines to launch the new season, but all this depends on the Balearic Government.
The shipping companies Costa, Aida, TUI, MSC, Norwegian, Pullmantur and the rest of the companies have not operated in the Balearics since mid-March 2020.
Faced with this situation and the fact that vaccination campaigns in Europe will increase in the coming months, they are already putting pressure on the Government and the Balearic Port Authority (APB) announcing sailings for May, June and July.
Palma has made it clear that the ban on cruise ships in the Balearics “comes from Madrid, but has admitted that it is true that there is business concern about restarting cruises.
The Balearic Port Authority, chaired by former President of the Balearics, Francesc Antich, is proceeding with extreme caution, even more so with all the negotiations and monitoring closely how the cruise lines are to complying with all the health protocols imposed by the European Union. Antich said: “It is important to recover economic activity, but this has to be done with sustainable and environmental criteria considering the current situation.”
He confirmed that they have received requests to dock in Palma from cruise lines but, he explained, that they are suddenly cancelled due to a lack of booking.”
He is in constant contact with the cruise lines “so that all health protocols are complied with when de-escalation occurs.”
The contacts that the APB has maintained for months with the central government and the International Association of Cruise Lines CLIA “is continuous and all possible scenarios are being considered, but with sustainability the main issue.”
Antich said that one thing is clear, as far as the Balearic government is concerned, having six or seven cruise ships in the port of Palma at any one time during the pandemic will not be repeated - if ever.
The Balearic Port Authority is also well aware of the mixed local opinions about the impact of the cruise industry.