Over 1,000 tourists arrive in Mombasa aboard MS Ambience

Tourist from MS Ambience joins traditional dancers at the Mombasa Port's Cruise Terminal./Joyce Jura

The tourism industry got a boost on Wednesday after MS Ambience Cruise Ship docked at the Port of Mombasa with 1,100 passengers and more than 500 crew members.

MS Ambience from Ambassador Cruise Line called the Mombasa Port on Wednesday at 5:45 am for a two-day stop.

“Within the two days, the tourists will be visiting Tsavo, Amboseli and also touring the city of Mombasa; many of them will be visiting our hotels, making purchases, and in the process, the impact on the economy will be significant,” said Tourism Principal Secretary John Ololtuaa while officially welcoming the ship.

MS Ambience with a length of 245 Meters made its maiden call to the port of Mombasa early morning from Victoria port in Seychelles carrying passengers of different nationalities.

“We had a very nice welcome, we are on a 132-day cruise around the world and this is one of the highlights. Lots of our guests are already off the ship, starting to explore what is on offer nearby and we also have people going on overnight tours around Kenya,” said MS Ambience Captain Egil Aune.

The arrival of MS Ambience shows Kenya’s cruise tourism industry’s continued growth.

“Since January this year, we have received a total of four cruise ships with passengers together with crew totaling 8,366 so far. This goes a long way to indicate that Kenya is one of the prime cruise ship destinations in Africa,” said Tourism PS Ololtuaa.

The increase in cruise ships can also be attributed to the refurbished Cruise Terminal at the Mombasa Port, allowing cruise ships to dock without problems.

“It has been a good cruise season for the port. We have received a fleet of vessels since the circuit began sometime in September last year. This is a demonstration of the milestones we have achieved as a port authority and our commitment to support cruise tourism and ensure its rise,” said KPA’s Eng. Julius Tai who was speaking on behalf of the Managing Director Capt. William Ruto.

The port has handled 12 vessels since the beginning of the cruise season and expects more to arrive before the end of the circuit season in April.

“The Authority constructed an ultra-modern cruise ship terminal here in a bid to enhance passenger experience at the Port of Mombasa and solidify Kenya’s position as a hub, not only for cargo operations but also for cruise ship tourism in Africa,” said Eng. Tai.

“Since the commencement of operations at the terminal, there has been a remarkable surge in growth by an increased number of cruise vessels docking at the port,” he added.

MS Ambience, brought to Kenya by Inchcape Shipping Services will set sail from the Port of Mombasa for Durban, South Africa on Thursday evening.

“We arrived from Seychelles, next port of call is Durban, South Africa before we continue to Cape Town then cross the Atlantic to South America, Brazil, and from there we start to make our way up to Europe and end our cruise on the 5th of May in Tilbury, London,” said Capt. Egil.