The cruise liners “Le Boreal” and “L’ Austral are each conducting bunker operations in the bay of Gibraltar today (Sunday). This makes a total of three vessels from the same company following yesterday’s visit by “Le Lyrial,” which also conducted a bunker operation within our waters.
In line with HM Government of Gibraltar’s decision to suspend cruise liner visits to Gibraltar during the current COVID crisis, it must be pointed out that these are not cruise calls. The vessels do not have any passengers on board and will only be taking on bunkers. No crew members will be allowed to disembark from the vessels and no attendance on board the vessel from shore-based staff will be permitted during their short stay in Gibraltar.
The Government’s efforts are very much concentrated on tackling the COVID 19 crisis. However, Government is already looking ahead and has created Task Force Future which is tasked with evaluating and preparing Gibraltar to be best positioned as and when the economy begins to return to normality. As confirmed in the Government’s press release announcing the creation of Task Force Future, the Port is one of the areas which is considered critical to our economy. The Government considers it important to develop a strategy to be triggered quickly and efficiently, demonstrating that Gibraltar is once again open for business. Maintaining links with, and service to, the cruising industry in the safe manner proposed with technical calls such as the ones by cruise liners Viking Sea earlier this week and Berlin on 6 April is a vital part of that strategy.