In a bid to attract more cruise ships to Gibraltar, the Minister for the Port, Neil Costa, has announced changes to the Port Rules, which regulate the amount of discount on passenger dues. The amendment allows ‘repositioning’ calls from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean or vice-versa to benefit from a 100% markdown on passenger dues.
There will also be further reductions applied, depending on the number of passengers on-board the individual cruise ships, calculated cumulatively in respect of vessels belonging to a particular maritime line.
Mr. Costa said he was satisfied with his amendments to the discount scheme, which would incentivize Royal Caribbean International’s ships to continue to call beyond 2015 and also attract more calls by other cruise liners to further boost the cruise industry sector.
Royal Caribbean International recently announced that its megaship, Anthem of the Seas, will call seven times at the Rock in 2015.
Mr. Costa said: “Shipping services are a vital component of the economy. I am very pleased with these new changes, as they will add a further competitive edge to the Port of Gibraltar in our energetic policy to support the cruise industry sector and ensure its continued success and growth.”
Mr. Costa has also given interviews to French financial magazine ‘Les Echos’ and the ‘International Cruise and Ferry Review’, with detailed accounts of Gibraltar’s position as one of the leading maritime services hubs for international shipping, including the cruise industry, in Western Europe.
The measures will be publicized to coincide with the next series of meetings with cruise company executives in Miami later in the year.