THE number of cruise ships putting in at Baleares ports this year will outstrip 2010 – itself a record year – with an estimated 459 vessels making stopovers. This represents a 4.5 per cent increase in ships scheduled to dock at Palma, Ibiza and Mahon, announced the Baleares Port Authority.
The 1.8 million cruise passengers expected to spend time ashore on the Islands also show a healthy increase on the record-making 1.54 million who did this in 2010.
Palma alone expects 1.5 million cruise passengers over the coming months, compared with 1.34 million throughout 2010, which was in any case a notable rise on the preceding year’s 1,056,214 passengers.
The encouraging outlook is in part due to cancellations by cruise-ships that originally planned to call at Tunisia but were put off by the unstable political situation there.
Many of these ships will now be calling at Baleares ports instead.
Baleares, together with Barcelona, was visited by 77 per cent of all passenger ships cruising the Mediterranean last year and accounted for 54 per cent of all those visiting Spain.
Both appear on the list of the world’s 15 most popular stops and are Europe’s leading ports for cruise ships.