Staff Reporter

PALMA
THE Port of Palma is this year expecting to exceed the record figure of one million cruise ship passengers received by just one port.
It is also expecting to exceed 500 cruise ship dockings in one year as, to date, a total of 525 cruise ship stops have been programmed for the port of Palma. This is an increase of 10.9 percent in the number of stops in comparison with 2006, when it was 476.

According to sources from the Balearic Port Authority, an increase of 16.79 percent is expected in the number of dockings for tourist cruise ships, with a total of 765 this year in comparison with 655 in 2006, which makes Palma the second Spanish port receiving the highest number of passengers and cruise ships, the third in Europe and among the 15 leading ports in the world.

Also, the number of ships using the port of Palma as their base has increased, which allows visitors to prolong their stay in the city. The Balearic Port Authority says that there are companies such as Aida which have ships in Palma all year round, which contributes to all year round tourism.

With regard to Ibiza, the Port Authority's forecasts are satisfactory compared with the “disaster” suffered by the port last season due to various large cruise ships cancelling their stops as they had no guarantee of a berth in the port and did not want to anchor offshore.

The Port Authority forecasts a recovery for the Port of Ibiza with an increase of 17.89 percent in cruise ship dockings in comparison to 2006, with 112 ships coming to the island, in comparison with 95 last year.

With regard to Mahon, on Minorca, the Port Authority forecasts an increase of 50.2 percent as, according to their sources, cruise ships will be stopping there every week. Some 122 stops are expected, as opposed to 81 last year.

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