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Arrival of the Cruise Ships

More cruise liners to berth in Ibiza this year

Ibiza's port is its lifeblood. Without it, and the other big ports in the Balearic Islands, we'd be scuppered (to use a nautical term) as nearly every item we consume arrives by sea. All the ports are controlled by one governing body, The Balearic Ports Authority, which oversees not only the infrastructure, but also the comings and goings of the giant merchant ships and over the last few decades, the cruise liners.

Cruising can be a very lucrative business for the ports and islands themselves – the Balearics are the 20th busiest cruise stopover in the world and the 4th in Spain behind Barcelona and the Canary Islands – with 1.8 million passengers expected this year. With this in mind the Ports Authority, together with tourism bosses from Ibiza have just been in Miami for the most important trade fair in the world – Cruise Shipping Miami – drumming up trade for the future.

The results for 2015 show in concrete that 119 ships will call in to the Botafoc docking area carrying roughly 170,000 passengers who'll be in Ibiza for on average about 12 hours. The interesting thing about these figures is that whilst the number of ships has increased by 10 on last year, the passenger figures have remained the same.

Along with the trend for building bigger and bigger ships carrying enormous amounts of passengers, there's also a move to smaller, more exclusive, 'boutique' style cruise ships which carry, shall we say, a more discerning type of client. In fact it's a trend which is mirrored in Ibiza's very own accommodation industry, with smaller more upscale places now seen as having more worth than some of the more traditional large hotels.

With all these factors in mind, the Ports Authority are about to spend lots of cash on the port facilities to improve conditions for passengers and the ships. Most important is the building of two new jetties to house boats over 300 metres long to accommodate the trend for the floating holiday resorts, and to make things more comfortable for passengers, around €400,000 will be spent on new canopies to provide shade on the hot, hot days of summer.

However, last year, the Port of Ibiza received over €1 million in docking fees from the cruise ships, less than the previous year as the fees have been reduced to incentivise the cruise companies to visit the island. If you're interested in seeing these sleek giants arrive and depart, there's actually a timetable online which gives all the details of the ships.

The first one to arrive this year, Mein Schiff, is carrying hundreds of metal heads on a Full Metal Cruise who'll be rocking their own concert in Dalt Vila on 14th April! Now there's a turn up for the books.

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