Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

191 “The compact nature of Gibraltar makes it an incredibly convenient destination to visit,” says Vijay Daryanani, Gibraltar’s Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and the Port. “Cruise lines can almost berth the ship right in town and guests can see the iconic Rock from the ship and not have to travel miles by bus to get there. This accessibility means within minutes they can be strolling around Main Street for VAT-free shopping. “To experience the town’s charm, visitors can opt for a leisurely walk around the old town or take a cable car ride up the Rock to the nature reserve, where stunning views and the playful Macaques await. For a more immersive experience, private taxi tours provide personalised explorations, while the popular e-bike experience caters to those with adventurous spirits. Alternatively, travellers can use the well-equipped local bus system with hop-on-hop-off tickets to conveniently explore various attractions.” Gibraltar has been dealing with ships of all shapes and sizes for centuries. “Our port offers all the extensive services and facilities, and we are also blessed with adequate berthing for two deep-drafted cruise ships or four medium-sized cruise ships at any one time,” says Daryanani. “As one of the most important bunkering centres in Europe, it’s easy for us to arrange refuelling, stores and spares. It is also worth noting that Gibraltar is the closest non-EU port in Europe.” Despite already being a popular cruise port with both operators and passengers, Daryanani says Gibraltar Tourism Board is keen to continue developing and improving its cruise offering. “We are studying supplying shore power as well as supplying LNG and biofuel,” he says. “We are looking at the possibility of building a new cruise liner terminal. This is something we feel will enhance customer comfort on arrival and departure from Gibraltar. We are extremely proactive in wanting to grow the cruising industry and are regular attendees at the most important cruise conferences in the world. We are constantly trying to improve our product, make life easier for our visitors and help in every way we can.” Gibraltar is an excellent destination for cruise passengers, offering an abundance of attractions to explore within four square miles Photos: Gibraltar Tourist Board