Cruise Ship Bans Face Scrutiny As Spain Rejects Restrictions

A number of Spanish cruise ports have instated limits or bans on cruise ships within the final yr that purpose to curb the variety of vessels crusing to and crowding Spanish ports, with extra considerations on the environmental impression of the vessels. Nonetheless, these bans could possibly be short-lived because the Spanish authorities is investigating the legality of the brand new guidelines. 

The information comes as two delegates requested for stricter measures regarding cruise ships arriving within the Balearic Islands, which have led the federal government to state it believes the present limits lack the mandatory authorized provisions.

Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca Cruise Limits

Since Might 2022, the port of Palma de Mallorca, one of many busiest cruise ports in Europe, has imposed limits on the variety of cruise ships that may go to the port on any single day. Solely three cruise ships, of which just one can carry greater than 5 thousand company, are allowed in port on any given day.

In October 2023, Barcelona imposed limits tied on to the situation of the town’s docks. Extra particularly, cruise ships are now not permitted to dock on the northern terminal (Barcelona Nord), close to the World Commerce Heart Pier. As an alternative, cruise ships will dock on the newer Moll d’Adossat terminal on the southern finish of the town. The variety of ships allowed to dock in Barcelona at any given time can be restricted to seven.

Valiant Girl Cruise Ship in Barcelona (Photograph Credit score: fivetonine)

The favored trip and celebration island Ibiza has mentioned it hopes to implement measures just like these in place in Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona.

Nonetheless, in a stunning transfer, the constraints that the favored cruise ports have carried out may see an early finish because the Spanish authorities has mentioned it sees no authorized framework for the measures.

The Spanish Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility has indicated that the present authorized framework doesn’t help restrictions on cruise ships. 

Inquiries from congressmen Sumar Félix Alonso and Vicen Vidal, who sought stricter rules on cruise ship operations, together with rising taxes, considerations over environmental impression, and cleaner gasoline utilization, led to the stunning remark from the transport ministry, in accordance with Europa Press.

Regardless of the rising variety of cruise ships crusing to the Balearic Islands, the federal government mentioned that emissions from worldwide maritime site visitors, together with cruise ships, aren’t regulated in Spain. Because of this limiting the variety of cruise ships crusing to Spanish ports based mostly on emissions from cruise ships would lack a authorized foundation, although Barcelona is one among Europe’s most polluted ports.

MSC Cruises in Barcelona, Spain
Photograph Credit score: Atapialopez28 / Shutterstock

The federal government additionally identified that of the full variety of passenger vessel actions in Spanish waters in 2021, solely 4.6% have been cruise ships. That this quantity is that this low is no surprise, on condition that the cruise business was not operational for a big a part of the yr.

Any ports or cities that transfer to restrict cruise ship entry can be required to collaborate with main cruise firms represented by the Worldwide Cruise Line Affiliation (CLIA). These actions would additionally want to contemplate the implications for coastal cities, autonomous governments, and, particularly, the tourism business.

Learn Additionally: Quest for Cruise Ship Limits at Alaska Port Continues

In 2019, the cruise sector in Spain generated practically 6 billion euros in turnover, contributing considerably to the nationwide GDP. This financial impression highlights the significance of the cruise business to Spain’s financial system and explains the federal government’s cautious stance on permitting ports and cities to limit cruise ship numbers.

Cruise Ships Docked in Barcelona, Spain

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