More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for a limit of one cruise ship a day docking in Palma de Mallorca. Currently, around 500 cruise ships dock in Mallorca every year, disembarking about 2 million passengers.
The people who have signed the petition urge for a limit of one cruise ship, with a maximum of 4,000 passengers disembarking on any given day. Today, as many as five and even eight ships are moored in the port.
The manifesto claims that the number of giant cruise ships has increased in an unsustainable way, which the city does not want. This has causes significant environmental issues. In fact, a recent report compiled by Transport & Environment, a European NGO, Palma was second only to Barcelona among European ports most polluted by cruise ships.
The manifesto also reads that a cruise ship moored in the port can produce up to 200 times more airborne pollution than a motorway. They also discharge ‘grey water’.
However, restrictions are not likely to apply prior to 2022, due to the fact that contracts had already been signed by the port of Palma and the cruise companies. Nevertheless, it is possible to implement measures to mitigate the effect on Mallorca’s centre.
On the other hand, 10 organisations representing tourism bodies, taxi drivers and restaurants say the cruise ships must not be ‘demonised’, referring also the fact that a port authority report noted that cruises produce €256m (£228m) to the island.
Except for Mallorca, after a cruise ship collided with a dock and a tourist boat in Venice on June 2 in the Giudecca Canal, the historic preservation association Italia Nostra stated that large ships should no longer travel along that channel.
Specifically, Italia Nostra said that the June accident shows that Venice is at serious risk and called for a ban of cruise ships in the city. It explained that Venice faces many dangers such as erosion of the Lagoon, increasing tourist pressure, high-impact development projects, restoration and renovation of the monumental heritage.