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The recent arrival of a luxury cruise ship, MS Nautica, at the port of Mombasa has brought hope to revival of cruise tourism in Kenya.
Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, was at Mombasa to welcome the tourists from markets including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia.
Balala said the arrival of the luxury ship was a boost to the tourism sector, adding that the government was marketing Mombasa to help attract more cruise ships. In October, cruise tourism in the country suffered a blow after a luxury cruise ship, MS Albatros, called off its trip to Mombasa, which was scheduled for November 3.
In October, the port of Mombasa was voted Africa’s leading cruise port for the second year by the World Travel Awards.
Balala said the Ministry of Tourism and the Kenya Tourism Board would combine efforts with the Kenya Ports Authority in marketing the country to woo more cruise holidaymakers to Mombasa. “International tourists, who travel by sea, prefer to visit Mombasa because of its proximity to national parks, the beautiful beaches, hospitable people and the warm weather.”
“After the arrival of MS Nautica, we expect more cruise ships to visit Mombasa between November and March 2018.”
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Principal Corporate Communications Officer, Haji Masemo, said he expected more cruise ships to call at Mombasa following the calm enjoyed at the Kenya coast.
“Normally, the cruise tourism season begins in November and ends in March, the following year. It is our hope that more ships will bring tourists to Mombasa,” he added.
In 2015, the port received 10 cruise ships which brought into the country more than 6 000 tourists.
Last season, two ships, which made four trips, brought a total of 2 958 visitors.