THE sight of tourists disembarking from cruise liners is set to become even more frequent on the Rock.
In fact, the numbers of cruise ships stopping at Gibraltar this year is set to leap by 11% this year, with more than 232 stops scheduled.
It is estimated these vessels will bring around 350,000 passengers to Gibraltar this year.
And with a record 18 cruise ships making their maiden voyages to the Rock this year, Gibraltar is moving full steam ahead in the shipping world.
Among the new ships stopping off is the Seven Seas Explorer, claimed to be ‘the most luxurious ship to sail the seven seas’.
Other new boats docking include Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, Carnival Vista of Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America’s Koningsdam.
April is set to be the busiest month in the calendar, with at least 38 ships arriving.
Gibraltar’s membership of the association MedCruise links it to 106 other ports in 22 Mediterranean countries. These ports represent 20% of the world’s cruise traffic with membership of the group helping to promote Gibraltar as a cruise destination.
The Rock’s facilities, outstanding attractions and location at the mouth of the Mediterranean makes it the ideal port of call.
As Minister For Tourism, Samantha Sacramento, explains: “The record number of inaugural cruise calls consolidates the robust trend experienced in 2015 when we had an extremely busy summer and 27 more cruise ships arriving in the ports of Gibraltar compared to 2014.
“This bustling activity underlines the effective work carried out by the Gibraltar Tourist Board and the GPA in marketing and promoting the port of Gibraltar.
“It is also a vote of confidence by the global cruise industry both in our tourist product, and in our capacity to handle some of the largest ships in the world.”
232 cruise ships to dock this year
Visitors by year:
2014 – 359,293 visitors
2015 – 342,942 visitors
2016 – 350,000 + visitors