A ring of steel has been thrown around Balearic passenger ports with the Port Authority and the Guardia Civil working in close co-operation to ensure the maximum level of security. All luggage and passenger identification are to be closely checked on arrival and departure from ports, although security on board cruise ships has traditionally been tight. The first set of figures for the cruise sector in the Western Mediterranean since the US attacks were released yesterday and passenger figures have fallen by 30 per cent since September 11 and this year's cruise season may be brought to an abrupt end two months early. Last week, 2.500 passengers, each having paid between 450.000 and half a million pesetas per cruise, cancelled.

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