The Balearic Government and the main shipping companies in the world that operate in the Balearic Islands have reached this morning in Hamburg (Germany) a historic collaboration agreement to achieve effective regulation of the arrival of cruise ships to the Balearic Islands. In this way, the Islands become the first national destination to achieve a commitment of this type, which will be effective as early as 2022, when the port of Palma You will receive 14.5% fewer calls than in 2019. Only three cruises can arrive per day, and of these only one can be a mega cruise.
The agreement has been produced after two years of negotiations and constant contacts between both parties and after a meeting attended by the Government, the Minister of Economic Model, Tourism and Labor, Iago Negueruela, and the general director of Tourism, Rosana Morillo, while on the part of the shipping companies, those most responsible for CLIA, Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, TUI Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Marella Cruises.
Both parties have highlighted the importance of this collaboration agreement to set a sustainable limit on arrivals at the port of Palma, since it will be effective as of 2022, explains the Government in a statement. The agreement implies that next year Only a total of three will arrive in Palma on the same day cruise ships, and only one of them may have a capacity greater than 5,000 passengers. In other words, in 2022 only one mega-cruise and two other smaller ships will coincide in Palma on the same day, which will already mean an effective reduction in the number of calls that will also be transferred to the number of visitors.
In this way, next year they will arrive at the port of Palma 460 boats with capacity for more than 500 passengers, compared to the 538 that did so in 2019, 14.5% less. And if it is counted ethe total number of vessels, including those with a capacity of less than 500 passengers, the planned stopovers in the Balearic capital for next year will be 518, compared to 594 in 2019, which also means a very similar reduction, in this case of 13%.
Exceptions to the agreement for 2022
It is an agreement for the next five years, and despite the fact that the berthing reserves in the port of Palma for 2022 are already mostly requested and granted, both the Government and the shipping companies have also agreed, for next year, set a series of exceptional days in this agreement, which will be less than 20, thus respecting the scales already signed.
Only in those days they may dock a maximum of 4 vessels, After the sector, which has shown great negotiating will at all times, has made an effort to reschedule its operations to comply with the guidelines. In addition, it states that in 2023 there will no longer be exceptional days, so the maximum number of cruises per day agreed upon may not be exceeded. At the same time, the agreement states that they will not be able to be overcome in no case the 8,500 daily cruise passengers in weekly computation in Palma, so arrivals must always be less than this amount.
After the meeting, Negueruela has signed the agreement, which will translate into “a reduction of 13% in the scales planned for 2022 in Palma, the first time that it has decreased in this sector in an agreed manner”. “It means setting for the first time a real limit on the arrival of cruise passengers to Palma, something that would not have been possible without the will of the sector”, The Minister has valued while thanking the shipping companies, especially the CLIA employers, for having understood the peculiarities of the Islands, as well as the specificities of Palma, something fundamental to achieve the agreement, which will allow, thanks to this joint work , improve the destination.
Negueruela stressed that the agreement is not limited only to arrivals, but also covers environmental aspects. Shipping companies are willing to continue their environmental policies and efforts, lor that will result in greater sustainability and respect for the environment. Specifically, the sector will intensify its work in all aspects related to the ‘Blue flag’, the effort they make to improve environmental standards and sustainability.
Once the agreement on arrivals is closed, both parties have given each other a deadline to establish the environmental measures that will accompany this commitment, which will be presented jointly in the coming weeks.