Palma.—The Port of Palma has been the busiest handling 35.000 cruise passengers during the first quarter of this year, bumping the port up to the busiest in Spain.

So far eleven cruise ships have called into Palma, nine more than in the same period in 2012, carrying thousands of passengers making the Balearics the only region in Spain to post an increase in cruise traffic this year.

Overall decline
On a month-by-month basis, in February alone 13.714 cruise visitors visited the Balearic capital, an increase of almost 389% compared to the same time last year.

Despite that in terms of national figures, Spain has registered an overall decrease of 8.6% (around 600.270 passengers less) according to the results of a study carried out by the State Port Authority.

In 2012 Spanish ports and handled a total of 7.56 million passengers, 5.4 percent less than the year before, after a decrease of 8 percent in December, following a seven month gradual decline.

Apart from the Balearics, the ports of Cadiz and Barcelona also showed positive numbers.
The Catalan port, the busiest cruise terminal in Spain, managed an increase of 32% in cruise passenger numbers, registering more than 130.000, after the arrival of 35 large ships while in Cadiz the increase was around 51% with a total of 26.066 passengers.