The Port of Gibraltar occupies a uniquely important strategic location, demonstrated by the many naval battles fought at and for the peninsula. Today, it sits at the intersection of Atlantic and Mediterranean shipping lanes.
The Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) oversees all operations at the Port of Gibraltar. Its most important functions are licensing and monitoring all port-related activities, providing security within the port’s restricted and controlled zones, managing yacht traffic, controlling pollution, conducting search and rescue activities.
In 2006, almost 7600 vessels called on the Port of Gibraltar, and the port offers a range of maritime services to support that traffic. The port offers a complete ship repair center with fully-equipped facilities for emergency dry docking and major repairs. The Port of Gibraltar is also one of the Mediterranean’s biggest bunkering ports. In 2007, 4.3 million tons of bunkers were delivered, and 5640 of the 8351 deep-sea vessels calling at port were supplied with bunkers.
The Port of Gibraltar is an attractive and popular tourist destination. It is a great port for cruise ships passing through the Straits of Gibraltar. In 2006, 65 cruise ships made 202 calls at Gibraltar, bringing 210.8 thousand passengers. In as little as an hour after leaving the shipping lanes, cruise ships can berth at the Cruise Terminal.
The 940-meter long quay can accommodate four medium-sized (two large) vessels at the same time, and additional berths are available in the port if needed. The Port of Gibraltar’s Cruise Terminal, a renovated warehouse, was opened in 1997 with a variety of facilities and services including a tourist information office, a bar/cafeteria, an arts and crafts shop, and other conveniences. The Port of Gibraltar’s Cruise Terminal features careful security.
The Port of Gibraltar offers modern multi-service facilities for yachts as well. Marina Bay, just north of the Rock, offers restaurants and bars, retail outlets, a clinic, and several businesses. The marina offers 209 berths can accommodate private vessels to 100 meters long. Each berth is equipped with power, water, FAX, telephone, and security connections.
The Port of Gibraltar’s Sheppard’s Marina is the only yacht repair facility on the peninsula. Sheppard’s Marina offers 150 berths and services for visitors that include toilets, heavy-lift equipment, a cybercafé, electrical shop, diving trips, and restaurant.
Privately-owned Queensway Quay Marina is located in a Port of Gibraltar residential area with many trendy restaurants, bars, and shops. The marina has a minimum 3.5-meter depth and can accommodate yachts to 80 meters long. All births have water, power, and telephone connections and a variety of services for yachtsmen.