Standing room only in Palma harbour this morning with no less than seven cruise ships moored up in the port, a spectacle witnessed on just four occasions last year, but expected to occur on 13 this season. Leading the fleet of cruise ships will be P&O's 69.153 tonne Oriana with 1.975 passengers and 760 crew on board. Launched in 1995, the 260 metre ship has become a popular sight in Palma. The Thomson Holidays operated cruise ship Emerald will also be cruising into Palma. Built in the United States in 1958 and restored in 1992, the Emerald conjures up images of the days of traditional cruising on classic vessels. Accompanying her fellow Thomson cruise ship will be Topaz, built two years earlier than Emerald. Topaz will be ending her recent Mediterranean cruise in Palma, before embarking on another. The vessel has as capacity for 1.153 passengers and a crew of 420. Nestling in-between the large cruise ships will be the 43 metre Mary Anne which is one of the most frequent visitors to Palma. Competing with the Oriana for size and comfort will be the 74.000 tonne Costa Victoria with 2'259 passengers on board and also sailing in today with 1.600 people aboard, will be the Mediterranean Shipping Cruises' French.-built Melody.

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