Home Business Norwegian Cruise Ship docks at Mombasa Port with 3,225 passengers

Norwegian Cruise Ship docks at Mombasa Port with 3,225 passengers

The Norwegian Cruise Lines docked at the Port’s berth number 1 at the ultra-modern cruise handling terminal on Sunday. PHOTO by Haniel Mengistu.

The port of Mombasa Sunday received the largest cruise ship, MV Norwegian Dawn,  to ever dock at the 350 million shillings KPA cruise terminal that opened in 2019.

The ship operated by the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) docked at the Port of Mombasa from Seychelles with a record 3,225 passengers from 54 nationalities on board.

Channel 1

Norwegian Dawn, belonging to Norwegian Cruise Lines, docked at the Ports berth number 1 at the ultra-modern cruise handling terminal before passengers disembarked for game safaris and city tours.

The vessel was launched in 2002 and has a length of 294 meters with a draft of 8.5 meters and has the latest onboard hospitality facilities.

Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director, Capt. William Ruto, who went out to sea to bring in the vessel, expressed delight at the gesture by NCL to call at the Port of Mombasa early in the year.

Ruto appreciated the call reiterating KPA’s support for cruise tourism in the country through investment in infrastructure to position the Port of Mombasa as a cruise tourism hub.

“This is just the beginning; we expect more vessels to call to port. We as KPA management and board have put infrastructure to support cruise tourism.”

“I want to assure all cruise lines that the port of Mombasa is safe,” said Ruto.

The maiden call to Mombasa comes a few days after another cargo vessel docked at the port on maiden voyage.

Last December, the port once again received MV Bollete, a cruise liner with over 900 passengers and 659 crew, with Captain Ruto confirming that the Port of Mombasa will receive another cruise ship next month.

The MD reiterated KPA’s commitment in working with all government agencies and other stakeholders in the tourism industry to help Kenya grow numbers and create a niche in the cruise tourism sector.

”We wish to reiterate our resolve to continue supporting the growth and sustainability of cruise tourism here..What you are seeing today is just the beginning.Our Port city has lots to offer in terms of tourist attractions,” the Port CEO who was flanked by KPA board of director’s chairman, Mr. Benjamin Tayari said.

Tayari said that KPA has invested heavily in infrastructure development to aid in the growth of cruise tourism.

”We remain confident of more cruise lines to call at the Port of Mombasa with this kind of cruise terminal,”Tayari said.

He said that KPA and key stakeholders will work to ensure that cruise ships calling at the Port spend more than a day to enable both passengers and crew time to sample what the Kenyan Coast has in store for them

The vessel master, Captain Asen Gyuruv, a Bulgarian national said that he was highly impressed with the reception the ship was accorded when it entered Kenyan waters.

”Right from the time Kenyan pilots boarded and guided us into the harbour to the wonderful reception as we received the certificate of the vessel’s first port call to the traditional dance song and music, we felt great,” the captain said, adding that they were looking forward to more return port calls.

And the ship’s local handling agents, Inchcape Shipping Limited through its Marine Service Manager; Mr Walid Timimi said that the port of Mombasa was gaining traction as an international cruise ship port of call.

”With good sound planning and the involvement of all key stakeholders, we hope to break the ceiling and receive many more cruisers here,” Timimi said.

He said that the vessel which will be leaving Mombasa after a 12 hour stop over is heading to the spicy Indian Ocean island nation of Zanzibar.

”It is truly a floating world on its own with a record number of 54 different nationalities on the side of passengers it is carrying and a further 51 nationalities making up the ship crew,” Timimi said.

Mombasa County Executive Committee Member incharge of Tourism and Trade, Mr Mohamed Osman welcome ceremony reiterated the devolved united’s quest to make Mombasa a popular cruise ship destination of choice.

”We have all seen what KPA and the multi-sectoral agencies are doing to promote cruise tourism. Under the stewardship of Governor Nassir, we wish to assure all and sundry that we are equal to the task and will ensure that Mombasa glitters when it comes to cruise ship arrivals and passenger experiences,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of David Chirchir, the acting chief executive officer Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), Betty Ichani from the board said that Kenya is targeting to receive 5.5 million tourists per year by 2027.

“KTB is excited about the number of cruise ships scheduled to dock here in the first quarter of 2024.  This will contribute to our target of 5.5 million tourists by 2027 and this will have a significant effect on our revenues,” she said.

Ichan said that the marketing agency was at the forefront in the promotion and marketing of cruise tourism with a view to ensuring that Kenyan attains more tourists visiting the destination.

Haniel Mengistu
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