Mombasa, KENYA: The tourism industry in the region is set for good tidings as 438 cruise line tourists and crew on Teusday docked at the Mombasa Port, in what officials say is the onset of cruise ships season.
MS Silver Cloud arrived at the port of Mombasa from Mahe Island, Victoria, Seychelles, early Teusday with the trip having began in Dubai on 18th November 2016, according to the Cruise Mapper itinerary schedule.
Kenya Tourism Board Assistant PR& Corporate Communications Manager Kimutai Ng’eno addressing the media after receiving the tourists, lauded the government for improving security in the country, resulting to more cruise ships coming to Kenya.
“We are happy to receive this cruise ship that has 216 tourists and 222 crew; this is an endorsement that the Indian ocean waters are safe for tourists to visit.” Said Ng’eno.
The Silversea cruises operated ship, which is a regular at the port, earlier this year in January docked at the port with more than 400 tourists from Zanzibar.
Ng’eno added that this is a cruise ship season and more are expected in the country in this month and January 2017.
“Among the tourists, we have 5O from UK, 49 from the US, 28 from Australia, 17 from Germany,11Mexico, 11 from Switzerland and the rest mostly being from Europe. We expect more cruise ships as this is the onset of the cruise ship season.” added Ng’eno.
Already plans are underway for the construction of a terminal for welcoming tourists on cruise ships at the port of Mombasa and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is expected to spend Sh 100 million for the project.
“A budget has be set to rehabilitate the cruise ship terminal into a reception facility and the works may start this year or the next financial year.” Said Evelyn Mwamure Head of Conventional Cargo Operations, KPA.
According to KTB, a total of 1,888 cruise tourists have so far arrived in the country, with more cruise ships expected between now and January 2017.
The majority of the cruise tourists are expected to visit various parks and monuments such as Fort Jesus, Shimba Hills, before they embark for Zanzibar later in the evening.
MS Silver Cloud is a turn around cruise; as others disembark for repatriation back home, others will be embarking to board and sail with it from Zanzibar on Wednesday 7th Dec and finish the trip in Cape town, South Africa on 21st Dec.