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The 216 passengers and 222 crew aboard MS Silver Cloud arrived at the port at 6am Monday
BY UPESI NEWS TEAM,DEC 6TH,2016-The new tourism season has begun on a high note as More than 200 tourists arrive at the Mombasa port aboard a cruise ship.
The 216 passengers and 222 crew aboard MS Silver Cloud arrived at the port at 6am Monday morning and are scheduled to tour the coastal city and also visit the Shimba Hills National Reserve, Kenya Tourism Board assistant corporate communications manager Kimutai Ng’eno has said.
“This is the beginning of the cruise tourism season that goes to early next year and we expect another vessel to arrive on December 10, but for security reasons the shipping line has not given further details,” he said.
MS Silver Cloud arrived from Seychelles and is expected to depart for Zanzibar Tuesday evening.
“Last season was good with six vessels arriving at the port and as of September this year, we received at least 1,180 cruise tourists,” Mr Ng’eno said.
Most of the tourists are from the United Kingdom (50), followed by United States with 49 tourists.
Others are from Australia (28), Germany (17) and Canada (13).
Tourists from Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Brazil were also on board.
The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) plans to spend Sh100 million to construct a cruise terminal, expected to improve the image of the port’s handling facilities for tourists.
BEST CRUISE PORT
In June 2016, Mombasa port was voted Africa’s best cruise port by the World Travel Awards and it is expected that the terminal will improve the port’s profile globally.
Five years ago, over 10,000 tourists arrived at the port each year before the number nose-dived following pirate attacks in the Somalia territorial waters in the Indian Ocean.
Only two cruise ships docked at the port in 2014 with 900 passengers.
According to Mr Kimutai, improved security in the Indian Ocean where piracy attacks have been eliminated has led to the rise in cruise tourism in the region.
The success of the Kenya Defence Forces and international naval forces in fighting piracy in the East African coast has seen a resurgence of cruise tourism in the region.