Palma.—After years of continual growth, the Balearic cruise industry contracted last year, as it did at all of Spain's main cruise ports.
Last year, the region's ports handled a total of 1'297'573 cruise passengers, 19 percent less than during 2011 which translates into 331'000 fewer passengers.

And, obviously, the number of cruise ships visiting the Balearics dropped by 15 percent.
In total, the ports of Palma, Mahon, Ibiza and Formentera handled 632 cruise liners last year compared to 745 during the previous year.
The only Balearic port which did enjoy an increase in traffic was Ibiza - the island catered for 15 percent more cruise passengers.
But, Mahon saw the number of cruise passengers plummet by 23 percent and Palma six percent. As the Bulletin has been reporting, the cruise industry, particularly in the United Kingdom which has been fuelling the huge boom in cruising over the past decade, is struggling this year.

Super liners
Despite new super liners coming onto the market, many of the main cruise liners are already offering major discounts for cruises this year and the continual problems cruise ships are running into is not helping the industry's image either.

At a national level, the Spanish cruise industry shrunk by 5.38 percent.
Last year, 7.5 million cruise passengers visited Spain with Barcelona being the busiest port handling 2.4 million cruise passengers, nearly nine percent less than in 2011.

Cadiz also saw its cruise industry contract by nearly 11 percent.