Cruise Ship Captain Apologizes After Posting Wrong Sign in Gibraltar

May 14, 2019

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, received a written apology from the Captain of the Holland America Line cruise ship MS Koningsdam after a wrong welcome sign was posted in front of the vessel with an outline map of the Rock painted in the Spanish flag. Located near the southernmost tip of Spain, Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and therefore this error is considered to be offensive and provocative to the people of Gibraltar. The posted life ring sign used by ship’s Photographers to take pictures of passengers has one more mistake, instead of Gibraltar someone made an error and typed “Gibroltar”.

Once the Chief Minister became aware of this sign he ordered a senior port official to board the ship and to demand that the sign be immediately removed and the ship’s captain write a formal letter of apology. Within, an hour, the MS Koningsdam Captain had written a letter, stating that he apologizes "for the fact that my photo department has used the wrong flag", also expressing his full respect for the history of Gibraltar as a British stronghold and fully understands how human error of using the incorrect flag may affect the Gibraltarians. Rest assured we will revisit our processes on board to ensure mistakes such as this are caught in future.”

In addition, the Captain said they will review the procedures on board to prevent this type of errors from happening in the future.

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