Sir Richard Branson has raised an additional 550 million dollars to continue with his expansion plans for Virgin Cruises. Palma is one of the key ports in the Mediterranean for Branson's cruise fleet. It is rumoured that the Virgin tycoon, who opened a hotel in Banyalbufar earlier this year and is planning to open another in Ibiza, wants to combine his cruise and hotel interests. It has been reported that Virgin clients would be offered the opportunity of staying in one of Branson's hotels and then continuing with their cruise.

The new funding would “enable Virgin Voyages to strengthen its financial position while supporting the brand’s rapid expansion into international markets”, said a report in The Times newspaper. Virgin Cruises, which is adult only, has proved hugely popular.

The first visit to Palma by one of the new Virgin ships coincided with the opening of the new Son Bunyola hotel.