Cruise ship visit boosts tourism in festive season

Cruise ship visit boosts tourism in festive season

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Ms Silver Spirit Cruise Ship Ms Silver Spirit Cruise Ship at the Port of Mombasa on January 2018. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The tourism industry received a major boost during the festive season after the arrival of a cruise ship in Mombasa carrying 648 tourists.

The MS Nautica arrived from the Seychelles with 400 crew on board and docked at the port last week.

The vessel is operated by Ocenia Cruises.

At least 85 tourists who arrived went to Moi International Airport to connect to Amboseli National Park, which is among best holiday destinations in the world.

“Another 170 will tour Mombasa city where some go to Bombolulu Cultural Centre and other to Haller Park. We will also have another 120 visiting historical sites within the county,” said Kenya Port Authority corporate affairs officer Hajj Masemo.

Mr Masemo, who was representing KPA managing director Daniel Manduku in receiving the guests, said the vessel would later leave for Zanzibar.

“The vessel will further go to South Africa but will return in Mombasa on February 3, we are expecting two more cruise vessels in our region,” said Mr Masemo.

The two ships are expected to arrive at the port in February 20 and early April. The development comes even as the government plans to build a cruise passenger terminal at the port.

The facility is expected to be completed in August and be officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Because of the construction of this terminal we have entered into an agreement with Princess Cruises of America which will offer a ship that will be starting its journeys at our port and end them here because of the state-of-the-art facility that will be put up,” said Mr Masemo.

He said that the port also expects to receive one of the biggest cruise ships, Queen Mary 2, in two to three years.

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