Busy time for Gibraltar port
The cruise ship Royal Clipper is pictured above sailing from Gibraltar, just days before the Rock welcomes the latest in a string of maiden calls.
The sail ship, operated by Star Clipper Line, called at Gibraltar earlier in the week, coinciding with another tall ship called Star Flyer.
Also in port this week was the super yacht Eclipse, one of the largest such vessels in the world.
In another development, the German cruise ship Mein Schiff 3 will make its inaugural visit to Gibraltar this coming Bank Holiday Monday.
It is the identical sister ship of Mein Schiff 4 which paid its inaugural call to Gibraltar earlier this month.
“Once again, it is thanks to the vision and hard work of our administration and the Gibraltar Tourist Board and other stakeholders in the private sector, that the success of the local cruise industry continues unabated,” said a statement from the Government.
The Mein Schiff 3 was built in 2014 and can carry 2,500 passengers and a crew of 1,000.
The vessel is part of the German TUI Cruises fleet, which is a joint venture operation with the American firm Royal Caribbean Cruises.
The company specialises in tailor-made, premium cruise vacations for German speaking customers started operations in 2009.
The MS Koningsdam, a Dutch cruise ship belonging to the Holland American Line currently on its maiden voyage, will also be in port on the same day.
“We will be welcoming over 5,000 tourists into town on the day, with all that this means for Main Street shops and commerce generally in Gibraltar,” said the Government.
Minister for Tourism Samantha Sacramento said the Government was pleased to welcome Mein Schiff 3 especially as she is coming so soon after Mein Schiff 4 inaugural visit.
Coupled with the visit of MS Koningsdam, she said it is “once again highlighting the Rock’s importance as a major port of call in the Mediterranean for the international cruise industry.”
“We will continue to support the tourist industry as we have been doing since first elected in December 2011. We recognised its importance to our economic development and sustained prosperity from the outset, and our political commitment to continue supporting its growth, remains as solid as the first day,” Ms Sacramento added.