Two cruise ships docked in Palma's port this summer.

02-08-2016Gabriel Alomar

According to figures from the Balearic Ports Authority, Palma can expect to receive more cruise ships next year. Current schedules suggest that there will be 559 ships between January and December, which would represent an almost 8% rise on the 519 this year.

One of the largest increases in traffic will be during July and August. Over those two months Palma is due to receive 151 ships - up 16.5% over the 130 this year.

On 2 August, Palma registered an historic high in terms of cruise passenger numbers; there were 25,116 on seven ships. In order to accommodate this sort of volume, the port has been developed to the point at which it has capacity for ten ships at any one time.

The growth at Palma has made the port one of the most important in Europe. In Spain, only Barcelona receives more passengers.

While the scheduled increase for next year is bound to fuel more complaints about "saturation" of the city by cruise passengers, there is an opposing view which believes that a rise in numbers is good for tourism and good for Majorca.

The regional government has said that it wishes to find ways to "incentivise" operators in order to try and avoid there being too many ships on the same day. The director-general of tourism, Pilar Carbonell, has spoken about trying to reduce the number of ships at the weekend in particular, but the day when there were over 25,000 passengers was a Tuesday, which is typically the busiest day of the week at the port.

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