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Gibraltar received its eighth inaugural cruise call of the year today when the MS Caribbean Princess sailed into port early in the morning. A Grand Class cruise vessel owned and operated by the British-American cruise line Princess Cruises, the MS Caribbean Princess can carry 3,080 passengers, has a length of 290 metres and a gross tonnage of 112,894. Minister for Tourism, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, attended a welcome reception on board the vessel, where there was the customary exchange of commemorative plaques with the ship’s captain. Minister Sacramento was accompanied by Captain of the Port Bob Sanguinetti, and representatives of the Gibraltar Tourist Board and ship agent MH Bland. The Minister expressed her satisfaction at this latest cruise visit which will further boost Gibraltar’s commercial interests: ‘We are delighted that the Port of Gibraltar continues to regularly receive incoming cruise vessels loaded with tourists who we can all see thronging Main Street and making the most of our wonderful shopping experience and tourist product. It is a magnificent sight and more evidence that the cruise industry in Gibraltar is in magnificent shape and growing, thanks to the untiring efforts and political commitment to tourism of the present administration. The shipping, tourist and leisure industries are priority areas for the Government, as these generate many commercial openings and constitute vital parts of the economy, essential for our continuing economic development and sustained prosperity. The run up to the summer season has seen a period of bustling activity at the Port of Gibraltar, and over the next few months the Rock’s position as a leading port of call for the global cruise industry in the Western Mediterranean will be vindicated, and the community will benefit from the influx of thousands of visitors making use of the Rock’s attractions, retail opportunities, services and amenities.’