One of the most luxurious cruise liners sailing the Mediterranean this summer slipped in to Palma yesterday for the first time. The Norwegian Splendour of the Seas, moored in Palma yesterday with 1'700 passengers on board, 40 per cent of whom are Spanish, an indication of how cruise holidays are becoming increasingly popular on the Spanish market. Operated by the cruise line company Royal Caribbean, she has started her Mediterranean cruise with visits to Barcelona, Ajaccio and Naples. The cruise ship is the height of a five-storey building and the interior is decked out in supreme luxury, with the decks connected by glass elevators. But the huge range of facilities even includes an 18-hole golf course and a number of sun decks and swimming pools. On the top deck there is even a disco with panoramic views and on the 13th deck, there is a luxurious oriental restaurant. Yesterday the head of the Balearic Port Authority, Francesc Triay, went aboard for a special welcome ceremony, accompanied by the head of IBATUR, Tiffany Blackman, to mark the cruise ship's inaugural visit to the island.

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