STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE Balearic Islands is Spain's second busiest cruise destination, the national Ports Authority reported yesterday.
With Spain playing host to 2.7 million cruise tourists during the first half of the year, published research showed that Barcelona retains its lead position, boasting 905'671 cruise passengers for the period. The port handled 350 ships from January to June, indicating growth of 10.4 percent. But the Balearics was in second place in terms of cruise passengers with 545'767 during the first half of the year and second also with regard to the number of cruise ships (263).

However, Palma was busy breaking cruise ship handling records yesterday when six giant vessels were manoeuvring in the port within 24 hours. The number of passengers handled broke a record of 17'661 achieved on 9th July last year.

Of the six cruise ships, five were each able to accommodate more than 3'000 passengers. Never has the port of Palma handled five vessels of over 100'000 tonnes within a single day. The first of the six to arrive in the early hours of yesterday morning was the Island Escape, belonging to Island Cruises, a company catering largely for the British market.

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