Passenger demand for maritime connections between the Balearics and the mainland has been rising steadily over the past year and in May a new super-vessel will be introduced on the Palma to Barcelona lines to cope with the high season demand. Transmediterranea will in May introduce the new cargo and passenger ferry Murillo. The 180 metre vessel, a new Ropax class ship, a second of which will be brought over to Majorca to cover the Palma to Valencia line, will have capacity for 546 passengers with a maximum capacity for lorries and vehicles. Murillo was launched at the Izar de Sevilla shipyard last September 19 and she will operating out of Palma along with the shipping companies two super ferries Sarolla and Fortuny. Transmed will also be boosting its operations in Ibiza and Minorca, linking the two islands to Valencia and Barcelona with the high speed catamaran Millennium and the fast ferry Almudaina operating on the Valencia to Ibiza route. Transmed will be withdrawing its ferry Cuidad de Malaga from Majorca today (Monday). The shipping company received a number of complaints about the ferry over Christmas with most people complaining about the lack of heating on board. According to sources at Transmed, the problem arose during the cold snap.

The ship has been designed and built to initially operate in Southern Spain and on short sailings, as a result she will be moved elsewhere this week. Transmed are expecting a high rise in demand over Easter and the Cuidad de Sevilla, currently being repaired following a fire in her engine room, will be back operating in the Balearics in time for the Easter holidays. One of the reasons for the rise in demand for ferry tickets is the current phobia some people have of flying.

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