By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
BRITAIN'S passion for cruise holidays is showing no signs of waning, as the Bulletin reported last month, however, it is ex-UK port cruises into the Mediterranean which are enjoying a considerable increase in business.

The Mediterranean is without doubt the most popular cruise destination for British cruise passengers but, while the number of people booking a cruise in the UK rose by 23 percent last year, the number of liners visiting Palma is falling.

In May alone, the number of cruise ships putting into the Port of Palma, dropped by 40 percent.
The Balearic Port Authority was recently warned by the cruise industry that, unless it significantly improves facilities and services in the Port of Palma, Majorca's main competing cruise destinations will begin the reap the rewards of a downturn in operations here in Palma and it appears that the cruise sector was right.

This summer, Majorca has lost two of the cruise ships based in Palma last year, the Island Star and the Thomson Spirit and this month will also post a deficit in the number of cruise ships calling in Palma. In June last year, the port handled 61 liners, this month only 53 are scheduled to put into port. The Balearic Port Authority has, however, promised that the port will be improved next year.

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