Spain’s Mallorca port restricts cruise ship arrivals

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Spain’s Balearic Islands will from 2022 limit the number of cruise ships which can dock in the port of Palma de Mallorca, a first for the popular holiday destination.

A maximum of 518 cruise ships will be allowed to stop in the Mediterranean port next year, compared to the 594 that docked there in 2019 before the pandemic, the archipelago’s regional government said late on Monday in a statement.

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No more than three cruise ships will be allowed to dock on the same day, and only one of them can be a so-called “mega-cruise” ship with a capacity of over 5,000 passengers, it added.

Set to hold for five years, the new rules were agreed over two years of talks with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), an industry group that represents 95 percent of global ocean-going cruise capacity.

“It is the first time that a real limit is set on the arrival of cruise passengers in Palma,” regional tourism minister Iago Negueruela said.

Residents of Palma de Mallorca have long called for curbs on cruise ships, saying the sudden surges in tourist arrivals disrupt their lives and strain services from public transport to water.

Some locals say they avoid the city center on days when many cruise ships dock, and before the pandemic graffiti flourished on walls of the city urging “Tourists go home.”

Their concerns clash with the interests of tourist operators, taxi drivers and restaurants, who argue the Balearics need the business brought by the cruise industry.

Read more: Venice restarts cruises amid protests over safety risks

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