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  • Writer's pictureJay Hicks

Passing Through the Straits of Gibraltar

Morocco from Gibraltar (

The Strait or Straits of Gibraltar is a 7 mile wide body of water between the continents of Europe and Africa. Our ship, like many before sailed through waters connecting the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. It is a very heavily traveled area with numerous ships crossing the straits or passing through the straits simultaneously.

Even though it was my second time to pass through the straits, I was once again in awe. For me, this is a rare event and there was a feeling of great anticipation as we approached the straits. It is possible that I was just excited and looking forward to seeing land, as we had not even seen an island for 10 days. However, this is a historically significant location, with very unique geography.

Both Morocco and the tip of the Iberian Peninsula can be seen from the cruise ship. There are observation decks on the 14th, 15th, and 16th floors that enable good viewing. On a clear day, as you approach the straits, you can see land to your north and south. Depending on how far north your ship is traveling around Spain, the time of day and fog, you may get to see the Rock of Gibraltar after passing through the straits.

Before passing through the straits, the Captain of the Wonder of the Seas spoke to passengers of the heavy traffic and the significant biodiversity of the area. A tremendous number of seabirds, such as puffins, gulls, razor bills live in around the straits. Teaming with sea life, a large pod of orca also live here in this area. Due to the traffic and the whales, the captain is restricted to 13 knots while passing through the Straits of Gibraltar.

Should you be fortunate enough to travel through the Straits of Gibraltar on a transatlantic voyage, you will be well rewarded by the excitement presented from this geographical unique location. Even at night it is possible to see the lights of two continents at one time by looking north and south.

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