Some of the future residents of Storylines MV Narrative circumnavigating residential ship explored Gibraltar recently in one actioned packed week. If you’d like to know how best to explore this tiny but fascinating territory in just seven days, then read on for the Storylines Escape to Gibraltar itinerary.
Gibraltar is a tiny British overseas territory on the Iberian Peninsula, on the Costa del Sol bordered from the north by Spain and the Straight of Gibraltar to the south. Gibraltar is a source of pride for the British and the strength of the navy from days past as it guards the Straight of Gibraltar, the only entrance to the Mediterranean from the Atlantic.
As a result, the heavily fortified territory is commonly known as “the Rock.” To complement the nickname, the iconic Rock of Gibraltar flanks it. The limestone cliff dominates the skyline 426 meters above the sea, with the territory’s wild monkey population residing at the peak!
Storylines Escape to Gibraltar
In keeping with our tradition of curated experience trips to the Philippines and Spain, Storylines representatives escorted some of our lucky residents to Gibraltar for a week of fun, sun and monkeys! This Storylines Escape features special guests and events with key stakeholders such as our executive vice president of construction & ship operations, Dr. Paul Read; senior designer Nahal Kadora of Tilberg Design of Sweden, Niki Nutsch, vice president of our corporate partner THIRDHOME, and Sofia Montironi, Storylines’ resident relations manager. Also in attendance was future resident Chris Halper of Odyssey Photography & Video Production who captured some excellent shots!
What to do in Gibraltar for a week?
With only one week to visit Gibraltar, it made for an action-packed itinerary. Luckily we have a group that knows how to travel the world, and it’s such a tiny territory! But also fascinating and full of many sights such as the Gibraltar Cable Car, St Michael's Cave, Gibraltar Skywalk, Great Siege Tunnels, Gibraltar Nature Reserve and even a Moorish castle. The attendees took in the old town center, Alameda Botanical Garden and more while learning about the local Gibraltar customs.
Let’s kick it off!
Monday: Arrivals, Europa Point Lighthouse and cocktails
The Storylines representatives, residents and partners arrived at Sunborn Gibraltar, the world’s first 5-star floating hotel. Any guesses as to why we chose this particular hotel?
The residents met each other for the first time over a trip down to Europa Point Lighthouse, the southernmost point and also close to the Gibraltar National Museum. Beyond the lighthouse is the Mediterranean Sea to the left and the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean to the right. Quite the vantage point!
This was followed by sundowners at the Aqua Bar overlooking the Rock of Gibraltar, the picturesque Ocean Village Marina and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. It’s not often you get to meet your future neighbors, let alone be a part of a floating community. Everyone bonded over their shared passion for exploration, giving back, and the excitement of what’s to come as part of their global lifestyle.
Familiar faces Dr. John Giannone (the ship’s veterinarian) and partner Dr. Jane Frederick had the pleasure of meeting more of their neighbors, having already spent time with other resident ambassadors on a previous curated trip to Andalusia, Spain.
Tuesday: Upper Rock Nature Reserve, Windsor Suspension Bridge & the Great Siege Tunnels
On Tuesday, the group explored local sights such as the Pillars of Hercules, St. Michaels Cave, Great Siege tunnels, and hiked up to visit the Gibraltar monkeys (Barbary Macaques) a the Upper Rock Nature Reserve atop the iconic Rock of Gibraltar, one of the best day hikes around. Although we didn’t cross the Windsor Suspension Bridge, it looks worth it to do so for the views, for those who are not faint of heart. The Gibraltar Cable Car is also worth riding for the views.
Speaking of views, the sweeping vista from the top of Gibraltar Rock is magnificent. It is an incredibly unique vantage point looking over Catalan Bay, the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar straight through to the Atlantic Ocean. Interactions with the macaque monkeys were aplenty. Seeing Jane and Amanda make new friends with the (furry) locals was a cherished moment.
Saint Michael's Cave (pictured) and Cathedral Cave were extraordinary sights to see, with ethereal lighting illuminating the limestone caverns.
The Great Siege Tunnels provided a fascinating history of the territory. The tunnels were carved out of the solid limestone rock by the Brits during the Great Siege of Gibraltar during the 18th Century. The tunnels have since become a museum telling the fascinating military history. It's one of the best things to do in Gibraltar if you like to learn about a destination’s military history, along with the Gibraltar National Museum at Europa Point.
Wednesday: Dolphin safaris
After a hearty breakfast at Sunborn, the resident ambassadors headed for a Gibraltar Dolphin Safari. The tour did not disappoint, with dolphins aplenty. They were swimming alongside the boat playfully and leaping out of the water.
The rest of the day was free for the residents to explore the old town in the city center, shop at the many boutique stores along the marina or cool off with a swim at Eastern Beach.
Thursday: The Gibraltar Botanic Gardens (La Alameda Gardens)
Thursday involved a walking tour of the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens and the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park, dating back to 1816, which are full of both native and foreign species of flora and fauna. A stroll down the main street in the old town followed. Along the way, the guide educated us on the fascinating history of Gibraltar, which involves Moorish, Spanish and now British rule.
Happy Friday! The Little Smiles Charity and St. Martins School
The Little Smiles Charity works with St. Martins School to raise awareness and support kids with autism. Our team visited St. Martins with Little Smiles to meet the children supported through the initiative. They heard from both the charity and school speakers on autism and how Little Smiles directly supports the kids. It was great to see some classes first-hand and the therapy dogs’ role in helping autistic children.
The group followed up St. Martin's with a delicious dinner at La Sala restaurant, where they spoke with special guest Nahal Kadora from Tillberg about the interior design concepts of MV Narrative. It was very inspiring to hear her talk about the design process and all the innovative ideas for the private residence ship. The future residents especially loved feeling the textiles Nahal shared and discussing the functionality of the interior spaces. She was both charming and professional and we are so grateful to have her on the team.
Saturday: Events with Dr. Read and THIRDHOME
The weekend came, and it was time to venture to the charming town of Benahavis near Marbella on the Costa del Sol, where the group was introduced to our corporate partner THIRDHOME at one of the luxury vacation homes on their books. The incredible venue had a gorgeous pool and sat on an elevation with panoramic views over the Mediterranean Sea.
The residents heard from Niki Nutsch and Charo van Hulst on how THIRDHOME works, whereby second-home owners can share their vacation homes. The memberships are available to Storylines residents who wish to swap their home at sea for other vacation properties around the world. The residents were also happy to chat with Paul Read about the ship construction. There was a smorgasbord of Mediterranean food and the champagne flowed!
Niki Christian Nutsch (THIRDHOME Vice President, International), Sofía Montironi (Storylines Resident Relations Manager), Dr. Paul Read (Storylines Executive Vice President of Ship Operations & Construction), and Charo van Hulst (THIRDHOME Partnership Manager, International)
Sunday: We bid farewell
It all wrapped up on Sunday as the Storylines resident ambassadors were escorted back to Gibraltar Airport. It was a whirlwind, action-packed and meaningful trip and we look forward to re-creating the itinerary when our ship pulls into port.
Until next time!
Storylines is a luxury lifestyle ship with a like-minded community of globally-conscious citizens traveling the world. We seek unique experiences, cultural events, and community participation while practicing and promoting sustainable travel. Find out more here.