THE Balearic Port Authority reported yesterday that the region's main cruise ports are expecting to handle nearly 800 liners this year.
As of yesterday, 778 cruise ships had booked berths for the coming season, 21 percent more than the total 642 last year, but demand remains high and more bookings are not being ruled out.

Palma is going to be the busiest port handling the majority of the 1'475'000 cruise passengers.
Mahon in Minorca is expecting 118 visits and 100'000 passengers while Ibiza, where there is talk of building a new international cruise terminal, is preparing for 101 ports of call and 115'000 passengers.

The capital's cruise terminal is going to handle 553 ports of call, over 1.3 million passengers and next year is going to be even busier with some of the world's largest cruise lines, such as Carnival, moving into the Western Mediterranean market.

A recent market report indicated that the Mediterranean is going to be the growth sector in 2011 which has promoted the surge in interest in Balearic ports.

Royal Caribbean International has also announced that it is to base Grandeur of the Seas in Palma in response to demand from the United Kingdom and Ireland market.

The ship's first season in Majorca will be in summer 2011 and packages will go on sale next month.