Quantum-class cruise ship Ovation of the Seas, made its inaugural call to Gibraltar today Sunday May 8th 2016. This is the largest cruise ship ever to dock at Gibraltar.
The vessel was recently constructed at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany and belongs to the cruise firm Royal Caribbean International. It has a gross tonnage of 168,666 tonnes, a length of 348 metres with capacity for 4,905 passengers and 1,300 crew members.
The Ovation of the Seas entered service last month and is reportedly the second largest class of passenger ships behind RCI's Oasis class ships on a gross tonnage basis.
Minister for Tourism Samantha Sacramento MP will welcome the arrival of the vessel and will be attending an informal ceremony on board when commemorative plaques will be exchanged with the ship’s captain.
The Minister said: “The Ovation of the Seas which we are delighted to be receiving in Gibraltar, is one of the largest ships operating in the global cruise industry at the moment.
“Carrying almost 5,000 passengers and over 1000 crew, its presence in port is a wonderful business opportunity for local trade and commerce, and sets the scene nicely for what we expect to be another strong performance of the cruise industry in Gibraltar through the summer months and beyond.
“The current administration has been a stalwart advocate of the Rock’s tourist product since first elected into office, my predecessor Minister Costa and I have worked tirelessly to achieve bringing Gibraltar’s tourism product to the next level. We have invested heavily to upgrade tourist infrastructure and visitor amenities and carried out effective marketing campaigns in international trade fairs and specialised publications, to ensure that Gibraltar’s appeal as a tourist destination of choice and major regional port of call was adequately promoted.
“We maintain our steadfast political commitment to tourism and our objective remains to attract as many visitors to Gibraltar as we possibly can, whether in the cruise industry, air or land arrivals, increasing our targets year on year, to ensure tourists have a memorable experience of Gibraltar and that they decide to return again.”
“That this latest inaugural call is the largest vessel to ever call at Gibraltar speaks volumes as it is further proof that our strategy of transforming Gibraltar into a maritime hub of excellence and leading cruise port of call in the Western Mediterranean, is working to plan. It is our intention to continue this positive trend, attracting to the Rock more and bigger vessels each successive cruise season.”