Tourism stakeholders at the Kenyan Coast are upbeat of a more vibrant cruise ship circuit in the next coming season, which begins in September this year.
The current season, which started on September 2017 and is coming to an end this March, has been able to bring in over 4,747 high-end tourists at the Kenya coast through the Indian Ocean.
Since the start on October 23, a total of six cruise vessels have docked at the port, with international guests from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and other nationalities.
On Thursday, MS Isgnia docked at the port of Mombasa with 1,066, tourist, which includes 680 passengers and 386 crew members. They are from Zanzibar heading to Seychelles.
Kenya Ports Authority Head of Corporate Communication, Bernard Osero said this season has been the best in the recent years.
“The number of cruise tourists has grown this year, which is a good sign for tourism sectors in this country,” said Osero during the reception of MS Isignia.
He said they have not received official communication of the number of vessels expected next season, however, they are hopeful they will be more compared to this circuit.
KPA management is working round the clock to finish the construction of the Sh450 million state-of-the-art, world-class cruise ship terminal at Berth number one.
The new terminal will have state-of-the-art security features, an immigration center, a hotel and accommodation facility and other social amenities.
Osero said they are sure that the terminal, which allows simultaneous berthing of two Oasis-class cruise ship (world largest passenger ships), will be completed by July.
Mombasa County government Tourism Department chief officer, Rabia Salim, said they are excite of the new development and they will continue supporting the cruise ship tourism.
“We are happy to receive more vessels. This is a proof that Mombasa is getting good publicity out there. We will work with all stakeholders to promote our destination,” she said.
On January 29, MS Silver Sprit docked at the port of Mombasa with 890 tourists, which include 496 passengers and 394 crew members.
This was the second time MS Silver Spirit was coming to Kenya in within two months. It was here on December 21 with 472 tourists and 365 crew.
Other cruise ships that have docked at the port of Mombasa this season include; the Omani luxury cruise ship christened Fulk Al Salamah (ship of peace) on October with 350 passengers on board.
On January 4, a Norwegian vessel MS Nautica made its second call at the port of Mombasa with 962 passengers on board from Zanzibar in Tanzania heading to Seychelles.
MS Nautica was first in the country on November 25 with 642 passengers from Marshall Islands in the North Pacific Ocean heading to Zanzibar.