Cruise destination Gibraltar; Cruise ship shore excursions

Cruise ship Oceana in Gibraltar

P&O Cruises’ Oceana in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a legendary place. The Ancients believed that it was created by Hercules. In more reason times, its reputation was such that people said things like “Singapore is the Gibraltar of the East” and “Brimstone Hill (St. Kitts) is the Gibraltar of the Caribbean” when they wanted to describe a place as an impregnable stronghold. Even today, seeing that amazing rock projecting up from the sea is a mystical experience.

Located at the southern tip of Europe where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, Gibraltar was for centuries a strategic military location. Its military significance has diminished in the 21st Century but its location makes it a popular port of call for cruise ships, particularly for ships sailing from the U.K. to the Mediterranean.

There are several things that make Gibraltar an interesting port of call. First, it is a tiny place. You can easy walk across the entire town. And all of the tourist sites are a short taxi ride away.

Second, there is the culture. Spain ceded Gibraltar to Great Britain in 1713 – – the British had captured it in 1704 so the treaty only confirmed what had already taken place. As a result, it resembles a small British city. At the same time, there is a Spanish influence. So you might see a typical English Bobby dressed as in London chatting with a passerby in fluent Spanish.

Third, there is the history. As already mentioned, Gibraltar was a key stronghold for centuries and so played a significant role in many of the major European conflicts.

And then there is that rock. It is a natural wonder, impressive to look at and offering impressive views, not only of Gibraltar but of Spain and Africa. In addition, parts of it are now a nature reserve, home to Europe’s only bands of free-roaming monkeys. Furthermore, several of the historic military installations on the Rock are now open to the public.

Beyondships’ Gibraltar profile page is at

We also have posted two going ashore experiences. The first talks about visiting Gibraltar’s famous Barbary Apes.

The second is about visiting Gibraltar’s World War 2 tunnels. Concern that the Nazis would attempt to seize Gibraltar led the British to construct 30 miles of tunnels within the Rock. A portion of this incredible engineering feat is now open to view.

In addition to the items about Gibraltar, we have added a new FAQ. This one discusses the pros and cons of booking a shore excursion through the cruise line. It is at


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