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Cruising to San Antonio

Cruise ships are big business for the ports around the Mediterranean

Cruise ships are big business for the ports around the Mediterranean. Not only do the boats bring thousands of comparatively well healed passengers spending money in bars, restaurants shops and on tours, but they also pay berthing fees, take on board local supplies and fuel.

Here in Ibiza, the big cruisers all stop in Ibiza town but from 2013 they'll also be able to make San Antonio a port of call. The council there have long been pressing for this and now it looks like one of the major obstacles – the lack of port facilities – will have been removed by then.

The Balearic Government, who are well aware of the benefits of cruise ships from their experience in Palma, where up to 5 vessels at a time can dock, bringing 20,000 passengers, have promised to fund the purchase of two floating pontoons. These will be used to disembark the passengers without the need to extend the existing pier where the big ferries berth and will cost a fraction of the price at around €3 to €4 million.

The San Antonio ports authority say that the first cruise ships will start to arrive next year but will moor out in the open water and passengers will be shuttled in on smaller craft.

The new Mayoress of San Antonio has also requested the installation of a high tension electricity supply to the port so that the boats do not need to keep their engines running to power noisy generators when they are docked. What a great idea!

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