Cruise ships have come back to Monaco after two years of absence due to the pandemic.

While some people welcome this development, others find it alarming given the fact that giant cruise ships are very bad for the environment.

This year, from now until the season ends in mid-November, a total of 137 ships will use Monaco as a Mediterranean port of call, according to the Société d’Exploitation des Ports de Monaco (SEPM).

Olivier Lavagna, Managing Director of SEPM, has sought to deflect criticism by saying that only luxury and premium ships will be welcome.

There will be an upper limit on size of 250 metres and 1,250 passengers and Monaco will not harbour huge liners like those seen in the bay at Villefranche-sur-Mer.

The company is also promoting Monaco as a starting point for cruises, which means that passengers may start their cruises after spending a night in the Principality. This can make customers want to return to the Principality on another occasion, and not necessarily for a cruise.

Visiting cruise ships generate income for shops and restaurants, and directly for the port authority. SEPM receives about 10 percent of its annual income from mooring charges for cruise ships.

FILE PHOTO: A huge German cruise ship SEPM