'Mein Schiff' Cruise Ship in Palma. archive photo. | Gabriel Alomar

3

TUI Cruises, MSC, Costa Cruises, Norwegian Line and other Mediterranean cruise operators are changing their itineraries for July-September so that they can dock in Palma.

“There will be changes of routes when the Government authorises international cruises from June 7,” said APEAM Head of Cruises, Beatriz Orejudo. “The aim is to recover the itineraries scheduled for the 2019 season and get back to normal, with all necessary Covid protocols in place.

The Port Authority of the Balearic Islands, or APB, has convened several meetings this week with the consignees of the shipping companies and Sanidad Exterior in Palma port to inform them of the new rules approved by the Directorate General of the Merchant Navy and the Ministry of Health.

The Association of Discretionary Road Transport President, Rafael Roig, has acknowledged that the Government's decision doesn't mean the arrival of cruise ships is imminent.

"It won't be easy to reschedule stops for cruise ships that are cruising in the Eastern Mediterranean, particular in Turkey, Egypt, Israel and Greece,” he said. "It will take at least 3-4 weeks to get everything operational, but the entire tourist value chain in Mallorca and the other islands will benefit.

The first International cruise ships are expected at the end of June or beginning of July, which gives them time to adapt their ships to meet the Merchant Navy Covid requirements in the Balearic Islands and the rest of Spain.

TUI Cruises, Aida Cruises and other shipping companies have already adapted their ships to include all the necessary Covid measures.

Spanish ports

TUI's 'Mein Schiff 2' is due to dock in Palma on June 17 and will be the first cruise ship to arrive in Mallorca this year. It’s 316 metres long and has capacity for 2,894 passengers.

'Mein Schiff 2' began its inaugural season in Palma in 2019 and 'Mein Schiff 6' closed cruise activity in Mallorca on March 14, 2020, when the coronavirus State of Alarm was declared.

‘Mein Schiff 2’ is scheduled to return to Palma on June 24, July 1, 8 and 15.