Palma is a popular destination for cruise ships to stop in for a day or so - on an average summer day there will always be 2 or 3 cruise ships in port to see.
The bi daily Majorcan Times newspaper (it has English and German editions) always gives details of which ships will be in port.
Cruise ships make this a spot to stop off for the day, or more. It contributes to the crowds that mas in the old town area. With maybe an average of 4,000-6,000 passengers in town for the day, it fills up the sites to see and restaurants are packed. We had that special experience in La Seu where maybe 1,000 people were there viewing at the same time
Balearia is from Valencia marginal cheaper then from Barcelona
Transmediterranea goes there as well
To travel from Valencia to the Balearics, you could fly by plane, or be a little more eco-friendly and avoid the whole airport stress altogether by taking a boat over...
The journey from Valencia - Palma lasts around 9 hours, there is one boat a day each way... the cost starts from around 50€ return (even less for Balearic residents)... and whilst it may not be the most deluxe, it's certainly comfortable and more relaxing than a flight.
There are films available, usually dubbed in Spanish, but entertaining even if you don't know the language... also a bar, and restaurant. Be warned, however, for some reason unknown to me the restaurant was only open for the first couple of hours of the journey and then completely closed up. I suggest taking a packed lunch/snacks just in case your hunger doesn't fit in with this!
One other point to note, when travelling from the port in Valencia, please note this is:
Puerto de Valencia,
Muelle de Levante s/n
Get to the main port terminal and there will be a bus to catch to the Iscomar terminal (about a mile away into the cargo area of the port). We had difficulty in finding where to get this, so simply started walking with backpacks in tow... fortunately the bus driver saw us on his way back, then turned around to pick us up :)
There are 3 different companies that travel to the Balearic Islands and of course Palma de Mallorca, the main city. The companies are:
- Transmediterranea: 2 super fast ferrys, 2 ferrys and one cargo ferry.
- Balearia: 2 super fast ferrys, one fast ferry and 2 ferrys.
- Iscomar: Is more dedicated to cargo and cars but also has one fast ferry
- TurboCat: only goes from Barcelona to Alcudia and Menorca
- MedMar: only departs from Sète (France) to Palma de Mallorca, good for frenchs
In all of these ferries U can take your car with U. Bicyles are for free.
Check out the web page I posted in order to gather more info about these companies.
By ferry: from Barcelona 23:00. Cabin costs over 12000 pesetas, must share Your room with 4 persons for this price. Arrival 6:00-7:00 to Palma.
Or by shuttle boat: about 3,5 hours. Several times a day. costs appr. 8000 pesetas.
Rent a Yacht.
You may go on an mini cruise around the island and get know amazing places that you can not reach by land.
On the cruise we ate at lunch the famous paella and for desert the ensaimada.
You can take the night ship from Barcelona or Valencia to Palma. Sometimes you will find the airplane is cheaper.