The port of Alcudia is consolidating its position as an alternative to Palma for cruise ships, albeit the number of ships remains low and the capacity for ships is limited; there can only be one at any given time.
The number increased to nine last year and is expected to go up to fourteen this year. In terms of percentage increase, Alcudia is the fastest-growing port, but all things are relative.
It was 2013 when the first ship arrived, the terminal at the commercial port having been built and the dock expanded. Since then, the port has attracted ships that can be no longer than 210 metres and has started to earn a reputation as a "boutique" port.
The first ship in 2017 will arrive on 31 March, and there are further ships scheduled until 29 October. There will be five in all during October, the busiest month of the season.
Keys to the port's success, says the town hall, lie in it being new and being close to the beach and the old town of Alcudia with its Roman ruins of Pollentia. Joan Gaspar Vallori, Alcudia's tourism councillor, adds that the current administration is continuing the work started when Coloma Terrassa was mayor and has added an on-board tourist information service.
The ships in Alcudia, as he notes, do not have anything like the impact that they do in Palma. They all tend to be luxury ships which carry limited numbers of passengers. There can be up to 1,500 passengers, but typically the numbers are much lower. As for their contribution, Vallori says that passenger spend is some 600 euros per day. "This is a tourist with high spending power, and this has been evident in both the port area and the old town."
The town hall promotes the port together with the Balearic Ports Authority at the main international fairs dedicated to cruise tourism. This year there will be representation at the fairs in Tenerife, Hamburg and Miami.
Some of the ships are now repeat visitors. This is a good indicator of the port's consolidation, believes Vallori. "Alcudia is not congested like Palma, and there is a trend among operators to look for new ports. And this benefits us."
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