MSC including Palma in its winter itinerary. | Gabriel Alomar

In December, eighteen cruise ships will be in Palma, the highest ever number for a December.

Beatriz Orejudo of the APEAM maritime businesses association says that cruise activity in the final quarter of the year "has surprised the entire sector", adding that cruise operators' off-season itineraries have focused on Palma.

"The interest in Palma is at a maximum, hence the growing demand from cruise companies to increase the number of ships based in the port, with the consequent positive economic impact for the city and the island." One reason for the increase is that MSC Cruises are basing a ship in Palma for the first time in its winter schedule. AIDA and Costa also have ships based in Palma.

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Among the ships that will be in Palma in December are the Costa Smeralda and MSC Bellissima mega-cruise ships. Both will be in port on a weekly basis. The AIDAblu will be in Palma on New Year's Eve and the AIDAstella on Christmas Day.