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Gibraltar port recognised internationally for Covid-19 efforts

A crew member from the Royal Caribbean ship Jewel of the Sea is pictured last May leaving the ship in the Port of Gibraltar. Over 300 crewmen were repatriated in that operation. Gibraltar has hosted numerous technical calls at a time when most ports were closed to cruise ships. Photo by Eyleen Gomez

Gibraltar’s efforts to help cruise companies service their ships and repatriate crews during the Covid-19 lockdown period have been recognised with an industry award.

Gibraltar won the award for the “Western Mediterranean MedCruise port showing the greatest commitment during the pandemic” at the second edition of the annual MedCruise awards.

The MedCruise association represents the second largest cruise market in the world.

The association organises the awards, made up of several categories, to recognise excellence in the industry for those companies, organisations and individuals who go beyond expectations in support of the industry.

During the lockdown period when cruise business slumped and most countries had shut the ports and airports, Gibraltar accepted calls from numerous cruise ships, enabling companies to get crew home and ensure their ships had necessary supplies of fuel, food and other essentials.

“Gibraltar is recognised as one of the leading cruise ports in the Western Mediterranean and this award, in these troubled times, further endorses our efforts to keep the Rock at the forefront of the cruise industry,” said Vijay Daryanani, the Minister for Tourism.

“Our membership of MedCruise is a vital part of our efforts to attract cruise ships to the Rock.”

“We hope that once the current situation eases, we will once again welcome cruise passengers to our shores.”

The Minister for the Port, Gilbert Licudi, added: “The Gibraltar Port Authority, in conjunction with HM Government of Gibraltar, has worked hard to ensure that cruise vessels have been serviced safely and efficiently during these challenging times.”

“The introduction of protocols by the GPA at the start of the pandemic has helped to enhance the already strong relationship with the cruise industry and has allowed crew changes and technical calls to be carried out in a way that has protected both the local population and crew members alike.”

“Gibraltar has once again demonstrated that it is a port that can be relied upon by the shipping community.”