The Aida Perla in Palma, Mallorca

The Aida Perla in Palma.

21-05-2021Gabriel Alomar

Costa Cruises will start operations in Palma on July 10. This was confirmed by Balearic tourism minister Iago Negueruela at the Fitur international tourism fair in Madrid, who said that there was a meeting regarding cruises in Palma when he and President Armengol went to Berlin recently. This meeting was with Michael Thamm, who is the CEO of Costa Cruises and Carnival Asia - Costa Cruises is part of the American Carnival Corporation.

Negueruela added that the "most important fact is that Palma will be the starting-point for cruises, which will have a very positive impact". "The government has great interest in this because of the tourism and economic effect for the city."

The ship which is scheduled to start operations is the Aida Perla; Aida Cruises is another Carnival division and comes under Costa Cruises. One itinerary will be from Cadiz to Palma via Malaga, Cartagena and Barcelona. The other will be a round trip that starts in Palma, goes to Ibiza, Alicante, Valencia and Barcelona before returning to Palma.

Pedro Iriondo of the Viajes Kontiki travel agency says that the restart of operations between Spanish ports will be very important. Cruise passengers will mean excursions and benefits for taxi drivers, shops in Palma's centre, suppliers and hotels. Fifteen per cent of the passengers, he observes, will stay two to three days in Palma before embarking on the Aida Perla cruise.

The ship is currently based in the Canaries. It will arrive in Palma in early July. It has capacity for 4,000 passengers, but Covid protocols require a reduction to under 2,000.

TUI Cruises has announced that it wishes to start operations in Palma in mid-June. The Balearic Ports Authority says that this is a stopover request that will need to be confirmed.

Regional administrations, such as the Balearics, have established their own protocols for cruise tourism. They are now awaiting the all-clear from the Spanish government.

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Roger / Hace 7 months

@TJ....I would be more in agreement with your comment if the port was actually managed by the Balearics and if the fees etc went into the Balearic bank account, but it doesn't....all port revenue, just like the airport, goes straight to Madrid...so we don't even get that benefit!...so I'm sorry but the economic value of cruises is very low...there are many better ways for the Balearics to derive revenue per tourist, and many ways to maintain and create meaningful jobs.

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TJ / Hace 7 months

Also Roger, the port gets paid for the slot, hundreds of jobs are supported by this, the tourists will get off and may not spend every penny they have, but it helps keep hundreds of jobs at the port- worth remembering and not just being negative

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Roger / Hace 7 months

If this means that 'starting point' is 'home port' then this is a step in the right direction...if not then this is another political smokescreen and Palma will not benefit to any high degree...and for those who do not know 'home port' is where the local economy benefits by supplying the meat, fruit, veg etc that the ship needs for its next few days...'start port' is just a promotional start point and the local economy gets no real benefit other than some bus journeys and taxis.

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Joan / Hace 7 months

Some cruise that is if you can't even leave Spain...

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