Cruise ship docked in Palma. | Teresa Ayuga

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Palma will be the main base for Mediterranean cruises this summer according to the employers' association CLIA, APEAM and shipping companies, including TUI Cruise.

"The evolution of cruise tourism will be positive with more traffic in Palma than in 2019,” said director of TUI Spain in the Balearic Islands & TUI Destination Services, Ian Livesey. “From May to October an increase in activity is expected and Palma will benefit from that, because the cruise passengers will stay in hotels in the Balearic capital either before or after their cruise, which will have an economic impact in all the productive sectors in Palma and the rest of Mallorca.”

"This type of cruise passenger stays in a hotel, rents a car, shops in stores and eats in restaurants in Palma, which is highly valuable to all productive sectors,” adds Palma & Cala Mayor Hotel Association President. "The base cruise passenger boosts boutique and urban hotel occupancy in Palma by about three points and can guarantee average occupancy of 75% throughout the year."

APEAM & Shipping Companies

“TUI Cruises and Aida Cruises are promoting Palma as a cruise base and shipping companies MSC and Costa are also planning more cruise ship departures and arrivals, because Palma has exceptional air connectivity, hotels, shops, restaurants and other complementary services,” said APEAM’s Commission of Consignees President in the Balearics, Beatriz Orejudo. She also pointed out that mainland ports such as Alicante have made a strong commitment to the cruise ship segment because of the benefits it brings.

Orejudo says shipping companies are actively looking for ways to reduce the impact of cruise tourism in destination ports.

“The sector strives to be a profitable, sustainable and environmentally friendly business model,” she insists. “In terms of sustainability, the cruise industry strives to respond to the environmental challenges it faces, reinforcing waste management policies and practices, water treatment policies, reducing atmospheric emissions and adopting good sustainable practices”.

Shipping companies included in CLIA agree that the evolution of Mediterranean cruise tourism in the wake of the pandemic is very positive, with reservations forecast to be much higher than expected despite the fact that Covid protocols and capacity controls are still in place on all ships.

Because of the Russia-Ukraine war, several cruise ships that were supposed to stopover in Greece, Turkey or Egypt have come to Palma instead in the last few weeks.

“Palma offers everything, including security, hence it is the port chosen as an alternative if a detour has to be made for any reason,” said the CLIA.

Since January, there has been a maximum of three cruise ships per day in Palma and there will only be 18 days this year with four cruise ships docked.

The Balearic Port Authority cannot deny the docking of any ship in Palma, whether or not it is a cruise ship, because it is classified as a port of refuge, by the central Government.