Mombasa Port on Monday received the second cruise ship this year when MV World Artania docked with 1,500 passengers.
The luxurious ship docked early morning with about 800 tourists disembarking for excursions to Masai Mara, Tsavo and other tourism attraction sites.
This is the second ship this year to visit Mombasa after the MV World Odyssey docked with 795 passengers and crew on January 26.
Top officials of Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) were at hand to receive the ship.
KPA General Manager for Corporate Services Edward Kamau said the Port of Mombasa has become a preferred destination for cruise ships and has attracted four vessels since November last year.
“The increased number of cruise ships with high spending tourists is good for the economy of the country,” said Kamau.
He said the collaboration between KPA, KTB and other government agencies has helped to improve cruise tourism in the country and called for aggressive marketing to boost the sector.
The captain of the vessel, which passed through Mauritius and Madagascar, Aleskey Zinkovskyi said it was the first time for MV Artania to visit Mombasa
“We are happy to be in this beautiful country with so many attractions. We will include Kenya in our program in the next circuit,” said Zinkovskyi.
The vessel will cruise to Zanzibar, Mozambique before heading to South Africa ports.
It is expected to have a passenger exchange stop in Cape Town port on February 26 then head to the Atlantic course through West Africa all the way up to Europe to close the circuit in Marseille, France on April 7.
The completion of the modern Sh1 billion cruise ship terminal has put Mombasa port on the world map attracting luxurious vessels with high spending tourists.
The terminal is among the multibillion shilling projects at the port of Mombasa that seek to improve tourism and investment in a bid to reinforce the country’s economic development.
By Mohammed Hassan