Excursion: Palma and the Mediterranean Sea, 2019-2020

Tourism Development Studies

This year, the TDS master course went on an excursion to Palma and the Mediterranean Sea with a AIDA cruise ship (ADIAsol).

When we arrived in Palma, Spain on the 27th of November, we directly took part in our first meeting of the excursion. Here, we had the great opportunity to visit the control tower of the airport and get an insight in how arrivals and departures are monitored, together with an incredible view from the top of the tower. After that, we have been to the Airport Management Centre and learned about the processes and challenges in this field.

On the next day we left Palma to go to Sóller with a traditional train. After a short sightseeing in the village, we arrived at one of the oldest family-owned oil mills of the islands named Can Det. Here we had the opportunity to learn more about the oil production and to taste the home-made oil and olives of the territory.
After having spent some hours at the Puerto de Sóller, we had the opportunity to talk with Viajes Kontiki, a local family-owned travel agency and a Spanish corporation partner of AIDA. The aim of the company is to offer good quality and customized services as well as to continuously adapt to the market working closely with clients and suppliers.

First meeting for our practice project with AIDA Cruises in Rostock
first appointment directly after our arrival in Palma at the airport
Excursion to Sóller – Ausflug nach Sóller

On the following day we went to the Congress Palace in Palma. Our guide showed us the Congress Palace with the two big main Auditoriums and the connected Hotel Melia which are both rented by Melia. After this, we took the bus to the Castell de Bellver which is located on top of a mountain to enjoy the breath-taking view over the harbour, the city and the whole island.
In our free time we explored the beautiful city of Palma and the beach in the sun and enjoyed the evenings with traditional Paella, Tapas, Sangria and Spanish rhythms. On Saturday we were finally embarking on the AIDAsol, experiencing the cruise flavour and exploring the ship. In the evening we could enjoy the christening of our neighbour vessel AIDAmira and the following firework until we sailed away from Palma.

On Sunday, our first sea day, we watched a presentation of the AIDAsol’s HR director and used the chance to ask various questions about the jobs on board. In the afternoon we had an appointment with AIDA directors and employees from different departments of the ship and enjoyed ‘speed dating’ with them. We had the chance to ask everyone questions about their work, their career, their life on board and everything else that was of interest for us.

Even though our planned excursion to Rome on Monday got cancelled due to safety reasons, we had the possibility to experience the authentic and beautiful cities near to Livorno on Monday and Tuesday. Some of us spend the day sightseeing in ancient Florence others went to Lucca or Pisa.

Excursion to Sóller
Appointment at the MICE Center Palma
Time off in Palma de Mallorca for exploring the city

As happened to Rome, the stop in Marseille on Wednesday was also cancelled due to the bad weather conditions. However, we stopped in Ajaccio, a picturesque city in the northern part of Corsica. We discovered the city both by foot and by bus, arriving to the Îles Sanguinares, one of the most beautiful areas of the island.
On Thursday we had another sea day and we used our time to conduct surveys with the passengers about the interests and motivations of shore excursion customers, the customer satisfaction regarding the shore excursions and the booking behaviour and customer journey of shore excursions participants. These surveys were conducted beforehand after a kick-off meeting at AIDA in Rostock in October and with the help of our professors to get fundamental insights in the passengers’ opinions.

Time off in Palma de Mallorca for exploring the city
Our cruise begins AIDAsol
Shore excursion to Pisa

Our last destinations for Thursday night and Friday was Barcelona. We decided to explore the city on our own and visited the main attractions of the city such as the Sagrada Familia, the Parque Güell and La Rambla. All in all, we spent some amazing days in Palma and on the cruise on the Mediterranean Sea and got some valuable information that we could use for our case projects.
After the cruise, the surveys were analysed and evaluated with the help of SPSS. At the end of January 2020 the final presentation at AIDA Cruises in Rostock took place to present our results and to provide recommendations for possible improvement. 

Ann-Christin and Henrick

1st semester master’s students TDS

Shore excursion to Pisa
Appointment mit AIDA employees on board
Shore excursion to Florence
Shore excursion to Florence
Sunsets over the sea at the AIDAsol
Îles Sanguinaires in Ajaccio

We look back to an amazing excursion filled with many attractions and academic appointments. We had the chance to get to know a country where the tourism sector is still in process. Due to this, the country gave a really authentic impression, the people always were hospitable and helped us to get to know their culture. Through the business meetings we could gain many new contacts, which could be very helpful for our further career as well as the acquired cultural knowledge. Thanks for inviting us!

Sandra, Christiane and Celina

TDS Master students, 1st semester

Visiting some sights of Barcelona
thanks to the MICE center
Sóller Oil production
Appointment with Kontiki in Palma
Final Presentation at the AIDA Cruises Headquater in Rostock
Final Presentation at the AIDA Cruises Headquater in Rostock

Excursions are an integral part of our Master's degree programme Tourism Development Strategies. The philosophy behind it is a constant and sustainable interlocking of theory and practice. However, a study trip is not only intended to improve our students' professional competence and to offer them opportunities to promote their network, but also to broaden their own horizons, as they often experience encounters with completely different cultures.
The constant interaction with about 20 students over a period of 10 days promotes the teamwork skills of all participants. Furthermore, communicative, social skills and last but not least, the own personality are strengthened.
Find out more about the Master's programme Tourism Development Strategies at the University of Applied Sciences Stralsund.