Boats, royals, films and lots of people
May has been a massive month for nautical activities in Palma so far with royal visitors, film stars and a multitude of people. As we know the Palma Superyacht show kicked off the month with some big boats, glamour and gastronomy followed closely by the Gaastra Palma Vela Regatta hot on its heels.
With 116 boats from 17 different countries competing, it was an international affair which also had a royal competitor – Spain's former King Juan Carlos. The ex King made a welcome return to Palma, his and his family's traditional summer home, to captain his boat Lionheart, a 43 footer, in the regatta.
Another royal visitor was the giant cruise ship Royal Princess, making her inaugural visit to Palma. A giant of the seas at 330 metres long, she was built near Venice and belongs to the cruise line who supplied the ship for the popular 70's TV series The Love Boat! (You're humming the theme tune now, aren't you?)
Another movie star to berth in Palma was the Russian sailing frigate, Shtandart, a replica of the first ship to be built for Peter the Great's Baltic fleet in 1703 which took part in many battles until she was withdrawn from active service in 1727. The replica was built in 1999 and has also featured in many sea battles, though only on the silver screen, when she starred in films like "The Admiral" and "Peter and Wendy."
You wouldn't think that the port could fit any more activity in, but it sure did, in a very big way when one day last week no less than 8 gigantic cruise ships arrived on the same day, filling the city with about 22,000 of their passengers!