German cruise ship Mein Schiff 4 paid its inaugural call to Gibraltar on Saturday 9th April. The vessel is part of the German TUI Cruises fleet, which is a joint venture operation with the American firm Royal Caribbean Cruises.

 In an informal ceremony aboard the ship the Minister for the Port, the Hon Paul Balban, exchanged plaques with the Captain.

 The newest of the TUI Cruises fleet, the Mein Schiff 4 has a gross tonnage of 99,526 and a length of 293.2m. It can carry 2,790 passengers and has a crew of 1,030. There will be a total of nine calls from this cruise company throughout 2016. 

 Minister for Tourism, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, welcomed the visit of the Mein Schiff 4 on its inaugural call to Gibraltar. 

 Minister Sacramento said: “The Government is extremely pleased with how the new 2016 cruise season is shaping up. There are numerous inaugurals lined up over the next few months, which once again highlights the importance of Gibraltar as a maritime hub and regional cruise port of call in the Mediterranean. 

 It is particularly significant that we have attracted interest from the German market and we are keen to develop the fresh business opportunities that this will generate over the coming months. 

 “The cruise industry is a success story of the overall Gibraltar tourist product and reflects the untiring efforts of the Government, Gibraltar Tourist Board and our partners and stakeholders in the private sector, to improve our product and to promote our wares in international markets. 

 We look forward to receiving thousands of visitors and to another strong performance of the Gibraltar port in handling the arrival of these cruise ships, which include some of the largest vessels in the world. Gibraltar has once again shown its capacity in this area and the new cruise season confirms an expanding local industry that has become an important driver of the economy and the Rock’s sustained prosperity.