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Princess Shore Excursions in Gibraltar ?

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Looking at Princess excursion "A Stroll on the Upper Rock" (GIB-220). Does this excursion take you to the very top, and how much time are you allowed there? It also says it's a strenuous excursion. Has anyone does this tour and have any info to share?

 

Also looking at the "Cable Car & Great Siege Tunnels" (GIB-205) offered by Princess. In the description of this excursion, it says that the cable car stops midway down for the Apes Den. However, when upon looking at the cable car website, it states that between April-October the cable car would not be stopping halfway down.

 

Thank you in advance for any info you may have.

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Posted (edited)

I've visit Gib and the upper Rock a number of times by cablecar and by van, but these two tours are so poorly-described that I'm struggling to understand them :classic_huh:

 

220

https://www.princess.com/excursion/exDetails.page?t=&exType=S&tourCode=GIB-220

Both tours refer to a "motor coach" but the apes' den and Top of the Rock aren't accessible to a coach.

205 footnotes than " You will be traveling in a mini-coach with driver/guide only".

220 has no such footnote, hopefully Princess simply failed to add it 

 

The apes den probably refers to the Upper apes den - this is where the local taxi & van tours go. Like the stop at St Michael's cave it has panoramic western views of the Bay of Algeciras & the Atlantic.It's just below the ridge, and by climbing a dozen or so steps you also get a panoramic eastern view of the Mediterranean unless (like at the nearby top cablecar station) it's hampered by the frequent clouds which roll up the almost-vertical eastern face. Time allowed by most taxi & van tours is 15 mins plus.

 

Gib 220 goes into great detail about  " the World War II Great Siege Tunnels".

The  "Great Siege " was 1779 - 1783, when the Great Siege tunnel & galleries were dug.

All of my history books agree that WW2, when the WW2 tunnels were created, was several hundred years later :classic_rolleyes:

All the guff about the WW2 tunnels is accurate, but most tours are actually to the Great Siege tunnel & galleries.

 

Gib 220 overview doesn't agree with its detailed itinerary..

First is St Michael's cave, then apes den,  then the tunnels - whichever ones they are. Then from either of the tunnel systems the road winds down to the town past the Moorish Castle. All of those and St Michael's cave are in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. All as per the "detailed itinerary". But the overview finishes with mention of a "motor coach drive around the Rock" and the (water) catchment & Catalan Bay, which implies a circumnavigation of the Rock at sea-level - whereas the detailed itinerary doesn't mention that drive.

Most Gib tours, including GIB-205, give passengers the option of being dropped in town or taken back to the ship, but the detailed itinerary says you are returned to the ship, yet tells you about shopping in Main Street

 

Whether GIB-220 is "strenuous" depends which tunnels. But St Michael's cave involves a number of steps and stooping here and there - although it's a pleasant place to take in the views rather than the approx 20 mins in St Michael's cave.

 

205

https://www.princess.com/excursion/exDetails.page?t=&exType=S&tourCode=GIB-205

This tour starts with a short drive to Europa Point, the most southerly point & broadly at sea-level, then to the bottom cablecar station for the ride to the top.

 

Yes, the mid-station is closed during busy summer months to maximise the numbers who can be carried.

But I'm pretty confident that you'll see the apes.

Either Princess has an arrangement with the cablecar operators for the mid-station, or you can visit the upper apes den which is only a short walk down from the top station. 

Max group size of 22 suggests that you return to the bottom cablecar station, since I'm not sure whether that size vehicle can access the road by the mid-station.

 

It concerns me that "Long lines and delays may be encountered at the Cable Car, especially during tourist season" 

If that refers to a short delay whilst priority boarding is arranged, no worries. But if you simply have to join the line that can be an hour or more. :classic_ohmy:

 

After taking the cablecar down you go back up the Rock at the northern end for the Great Siege tunnel & galleries.

A pretty convoluted way to combine cablecar & Great Siege tunnel but at least we know which tunnel it visits.

 

All very confusing, a really poor  attempt by Princess.

And I doubt anyone else can make much sense of it

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

Edited by John Bull

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agree with John Bull

 

the roads up to summit are only accessible by a 7 seater or less van

the strenuous description probably refers to the walk up you will have to do from the caves area as bus cant go any further than that

 

go for a taxi tour-preferably arranged in advance and get off ship ASAP so can be ahead of crowds

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Forget the ships excursions, just go ashore asap and find a white-minivan.

For much cheaper than on your ship you will tour the rock.

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Namdert, what do you mean by “white minivan”? Is this some kind of taxi tour we can hire as we get off the ship, how much would it cost? Though probably it would be better to pre-book a van tour rather than take the chance of finding one on the actual day. 

 

Thanks for the suggestions 😊

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2 hours ago, prish said:

Namdert, what do you mean by “white minivan”? Is this some kind of taxi tour we can hire as we get off the ship, how much would it cost? Though probably it would be better to pre-book a van tour rather than take the chance of finding one on the actual day. 

 

Thanks for the suggestions 😊

 

 

Yes, there'll be taxi-vans at the cruise terminal for the upper Rock tour. Last I heard the cost was £22 / €25 per person, (incl admissions), the taxi marshal puts you in with fellow-cruisers (8 or 10 pax) .

Provided that you get off the ship decently early there's no need to book. But don't be among the stragglers off the ship, cos the vans will go looking for trade elsewhere as business at the terminal dies away.

Tour lasts about 1 3/4 hours, and includes  photostop at Jewish monument with southerly views over the Straits to N Africa, and stops at St Michael's cave  (westerly views over Bay of Algeciras and Atlantic), the apes den (westerly views again plus easterly views over the Mediterranean via a short flight of steps), and the Great Siege tunnel and galleries (northerly views over airport, border and Spain). Then down past the entrance to the WW2 tunnels and the Moorish castle to Casemates Square at the bottom (north) end of Main Street. Driver can take you back to the ship, but most folk bale out at Casemtes Square to explore the shops, cafes, pubs, and minor sights of Main Street before walking back to the ship (20 min walk from Casemates Square).

 

I don't think it's possible to pre-book seats, you'd have to pre-book the van 

https://www.gibraltar-rock-tours.com/

 

JB :classic_smile:

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Thanks a ton for the detailed reply JB, really appreciate it. We’re going to be a group of six or seven, so it probably makes sense to book a van for ourselves. And maybe look for another couple from our RC, will talk it over with the others.

 

Thanks again 😊

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Can we find a longer tour when we get off the ship?  Or precook if we want longer tour? Thank you.

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21 minutes ago, vkb2751 said:

Can we find a longer tour when we get off the ship?  Or precook if we want longer tour? Thank you.

 

There are longer tours - 3 hrs & 6 hrs - on the website that I linked.

You'll note they don't accept pre-booking (or pre-cooking :classic_tongue:) for the standard tour, but advise booking early for the longer tours.

You''d have to book the vehicle (8 seats) so that'd suit prish, or for just a couple you'd need to find sharers (via your RollCall?) to make it economical.

 

If you simply jump in a van at the cruise terminal you could ask the driver to add places at the end - for instance a sea-level circumnavigation including the 100-ton gun, Europa Point, the standard road & tunnel from Europa Point to Catalan Bay, and the airport. You'd have to negotiate the extra cost with the driver - how much it'd cost you would depend on whether / how many others in the van wanted to stay on & split the extra cost.

 

They've been providing tours for many years and the time allowed on a standard tour at St Michael's cave, apes den and Great Siege tunnel is about right for most folk. Can't be extended at the apes den because it's a single-track road with no parking space, so if there are vans already lined up on the road passengers walk down the line (usually up to about 8 vans) to the den and eventually your van reaches the front of the line. If your van stayed for an extra 20 minutes that's be a bit problematic for drivers & passengers in the line behind you :classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:  

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8 hours ago, vkb2751 said:

Thanks, John. Appreciate your help on these boards.

 

Indeed, John is one of the regulars on these boards and his advice has been of immense help to so many cruisers, including myself. He patiently walked me through planning my visit to Normandy some years back, thanks again John!

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2 hours ago, prish said:

 

Indeed, John is one of the regulars on these boards and his advice has been of immense help to so many cruisers, including myself. He patiently walked me through planning my visit to Normandy some years back, thanks again John!

 

Aw, shucks :classic_blush:

Thanks, prish :classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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How much is a taxi back to the ship from Casemtes Square and how easy is it to get one?  My father uses a wheelchair for any kind of distance so walking back isn't an option.

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Sometimes there are a number of taxis that do a “ship shuttle” run and charge a few pounds per passenger.  If that option is not available, taxis will be available.  However the walk is very short, straight and flat.  I am always surprised how many people queue up.  I have seen people pushing wheelchairs into town

 

I once tried encouraging some folk at the back of the queue to walk.  They would have been standing in the queue for a lot longer than the time it takes to stroll back.  I got some funny looks, I think they thought I was doing a scam 🤷🏻‍♀️!

 

  

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