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The thinking behind Gibraltar's new Cruise Liner Terminal was to create a building which has low maintenance costs, is easy to keep clean yet provides transiting passengers with a light, airy touch giving the impression of coolness.

The project began in 1995 when the Government invited tenders for the design and build of the terminal. Eleven companies submitted tenders, from which local company Profield Contractors was selected. Local architect Dennis Mosquera RIBA designed the terminal.

Because the government is committed to the massive task of giving the whole of Gibraltar a major face-lift, the terminal building had a limited budget of ?600,000. What has been achieved represents exceptional value for money.

The building was a disused warehouse, but the walls were found structurally sound. It has been completely gutted, the floor relaid, the roof replaced by a special insulated ceiling and white chipped stone-effect clad walls erected. Combined this gives the terminal its airiness and lends it a semi-classical feel.

Blues and yellows are the main colours adopted throughout which represent the colours of the Mediterranean. Hanging drapes use nautical themes in their makeup.
Picture - During Construction.

The terminal is divided by a security barrier separating the public and restricted sections. In the public areas, booths have been built into the fabric of the building for telephone/telefax facilities, car hire, tourist excursions and taxi services. Areas are set aside as meeting points and for special displays, a coffee shop and seating. The ambience is rounded off with potted plants, hanging baskets and subdued lighting.

Like airports, access to the restricted zone is via baggage x-ray machines and metal detectors, customs and other authorities. The lounge is of a similar size to the public area and is dominated by a fountain, a sculpture of Gibraltar and has works by local artists adorning the walls. Provision has also been made for a separate baggage hall.

Port Captain John Prior says new security measures introduced are based on advice given by a special team flown in from Scotland Yard.

The Gibraltar Cruise Liner Terminal packs a lot into a small space and will delight those passengers who use it. With it the Rock will be able to maintain its position as the major cruise destination in the Mediterranean.