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Second cruise ship with 763 visitors docks at Mombasa port

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There was a carnival mood in Mombasa following the arrival of cruise liner, MV World Odyssey with 763 visitors onboard.

The state-of-the-art floating university docked at the Port of Mombasa on Friday morning with 585 students, 178 faculty members and 198 crew members on board.

The arrival of the floating campus and the second cruise ship to dock at the Port of Mombasa this year signals good tidings for the country’s cruise ship tourist industry.

It’s the ship’s third call to Mombasa port in 15 months, a show of confidence in the country’s tourism sector. The ship’s last port of call is Cochin in India, it will stay in the port of Mombasa quayside for six days.

The vessel runs an education dubbed “Semester at Sea” administered by the Institute of Shipboard Education in partnership with Colorado State University.

Constructed in Germany in 1998, MV World Odyssey is literally a floating learning institution.

The students are drawn from over 20 nations and they spend between 100 and 105 days on the cruise ship, 50pc of the days in classes on the ship, and the rest of the voyage exploring different countries.

They will have exchange programs with the Technical University of Mombasa and Kenyatta University Mombasa campus.

“We are glad to receive the vessel, we are expecting more ships hopefully in early March so that we can have enough cruise passengers to improve our economy,” said Capt. Ali Abdille, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Harbour Master when he officially received the ship.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Head of Public Relations and Corporate Communication Wausi Walya said the calling of the ship for the third time is a big endorsement of Mombasa as a favorite port of call.

“This time differently from paying tourists, the students are interested in a lot of knowledge. Each student on board takes a global studies subject and as they move from country to country they try to absorb as much information as possible,” said Walya, adding the students are interested to learn about the culture and history of the Coastal city.

She stated that cruise ship tourism has recorded a 50 percent growth this year. Since January two cruise ships have docked at the Port of Mombasa with over 6000 tourists. Last year 3123 tourists came through cruise ships.

The cruise ships, Walya noted, are a big addition to the economy as they inject money when they tour different sites.

The campus Executive Dean Marti Fessenden said the floating university runs a unique programme where they integrate learning and an opportunity for students to explore the world.

“We are very proud of the Semester at Sea. Kenya is the first port of call in Africa, we will visit five more African countries,” she stated.

“The main idea is to bring students around the world to explore different countries. Mostly we are six to seven days at sea where the students already learn about the countries and in a later stage give them time to explore the countries,” added the Ship Captain Jan Master.

The students were excited to be in the country and will explore different sites, Kenyan cuisines, and culture. They appreciated the warm reception.

kra