Hebridean Sky, a small all-suite expedition passenger vessel, made its inaugural call to Gibraltar last Monday.
Operated by the cruise firm Noble Caledonia, the Hebridean Sky has a gross tonnage of 4200 tonnes and a length of 90.6 metres.
Minister for the Port, Paul Balban, and representatives from the Gibraltar Tourist Board and the Gibraltar Port Authority attended the customary ceremony where they exchanged plaques with the captain of the vessel.
Representatives from Maritima, the ship’s agent, also attended.
Passengers from Hebridean Sky were invited by the GTB, in conjunction with Noble Caledonia, to attend an evening concert by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Band at St Michael’s Cave. The vessel remained in Port until 9pm.
Minister for Tourism, Samantha Sacramento MP, welcomed the arrival of the latest inaugural to the Port of Gibraltar, which has had an extremely busy season this summer. The Minister said: “We were extremely pleased at the arrival of the MS Hebridean Sky to Gibraltar.”
“The expansion of the cruise industry in Gibraltar, and indeed of the overall tourist industry, has been possible thanks to the political leadership and sound policies introduced by the current Government. This has gone hand-in-hand with an ambitious capital investment programme, which resulted in an unprecedented quality upgrade of the local tourist product,” said Ms Sacramento.
The vessel has capacity for 120 passengers and a crew of 70. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden earlier this year before being re-launched under its current name.
A statement from the Government said that the Port of Gibraltar has had an intense season of inaugural visits, which underlines the incessant work by the Gibraltar Tourist Board to promote the Rock as a unique tourist destination, and the successful marketing strategies that have been spearheaded by the GSLP-Liberal administration.
“We are now seeing the results of this concerted effort in the innumerable number of cruise inaugurals we have seen in 2016, as Gibraltar’s position as a leading regional cruise destination in the Mediterranean has been further strengthened,” Ms Sacramento added.