German cruise ship MS Europa 2 made its inaugural call to the port of Gibraltar on Friday 17th June at 5:30pm.

The vessel belongs to German firm Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. It has a gross tonnage of 42,830 tonnes, a length of 225 metres, capacity for 516 passengers and a crew of 370. The MS Europa 2 has been awarded the coveted distinction of 5-stars-plus by the Berlitz Cruise Guide 2016. The vessel entered service in May 2013 and has since been named the number-one cruise ship in the world by the prestigious shipping guide.

An informal welcome ceremony was held on board where commemorative plaques were exchanged with the ship’s Chief Officer, Ulf Sodemann. The Gibraltar Tourist Board was represented by Senior Project Manager Suyenne Catania and Terminal Supervisor Rosalie Wink. Also in attendance were Jensen Perera and Steven Barea from local shipping agent MH Bland and Deputy Captain of the Port, Manuel Tirado.

The MS Europa 2 also organised a private concert for their passengers at St Michael’s Cave.

Minister for Tourism, the Hon Samantha Sacramento, welcomed the vessel’s arrival to Gibraltar: “We were delighted to receive the MS Europa 2 on its inaugural call to the Rock. The 2016 cruise season promises to reflect another strong showing by the Gibraltar cruise industry, and our position as one of the leading regional ports of call in the Mediterranean will be further consolidated.

“The GSLP-Liberal administration will continue its tireless efforts to ensure that Gibraltar’s cruise industry, and tourist sector as a whole, continue to report healthy figures. The improvement and expansion of our tourist product over the past five years has made Gibraltar more attractive as a destination and we want this to continue in the years ahead.

GTB Senior Product Manager Suyenne Catania exchanges plaques with MS Europa 2 Chief Officer Ulf Sodemann

Chief Officer Ulf Sodemann exchanges plaques with Deputy Captain of the Port Manuel Tirado

Chief Officer Ulf Sodemann exchanges plaques with MH Bland Shipping Operations Manager Steven Barea

L to R: Jensen Perera (MH Bland, Shipping Agent) Rosalie Wink (Gibraltar Tourist Board Terminal Supervisor), Steven Barea (MH Bland Shipping Operations Manager), Manuel Tirado,  (Deputy Captain of the Port), Ulf Sodemann  (Chief Officer Ms Europa 2), Suyenne Catania  (GTB Senior Product Manager), Barbara Ostwalt (MS Europa 2 Guest Relations Manager).