Cruise ship season helps showcase Seychelles for longer holidays
Visitors disembarking from MS Europa 2 were presented with a small token to remember Seychelles. (Salifa karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency)
The cruise ship season is the best way to showcase to visitors what Seychelles has to offer and entice a longer stay in the island nation, a top tourism official said on Wednesday at the opening of the 2022-2023 season.
Seychelles' principal secretary for tourism, Sherin Francis, called on all tourism operators to join together and make these short visits memorable for the visitors who will be disembarking at the Mahe Quay during this cruise ship season.
"As much as we rely a lot on our visitors who come via the airport, there is a place in the Seychelles' economy for the cruise ships as well. We want our cruise ship visitors to have a taste of what it would be like for them to eventually choose Seychelles for a much longer holiday," said Francis.
Addressing the visitors, Francis asked them to wet their appetite for an eventually longer holiday, which on average lasts for 10 days for most visitors.
MS Europa 2 berthed Port Victoria at around 11.30 am on October 12, carrying over 370 passengers and over 360 crew members. They were welcomed by a live band and dancers and presented with a small token to remember Seychelles.
|A live band and dancers were present to welcome the visitors to Seychelles. (Salifa karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
The cruise ship will leave Port Victoria on October 14.
Most of the visitors that SNA spoke to shared that this was their first time in Seychelles.
A German couple told SNA that they have rented a car and will be travelling around Mahe during the first two days of their stay. On the third day, they intend to visit La Digue where they will tour the island on rented bicycles.
Another visitor, also from Germany told SNA that he has plans to visit Victoria, meet the people of Seychelles and of course go to some beaches of the island nation.
The 2022-2023 cruise ship season will remain open until mid-April next year and is expected to welcome a total of 18 vessels that will operate about 40 calls.
The deputy chief executive of the Seychelles Port Authority (SPA), Egbert Moustache, told the press that last year when Seychelles was being affected greatly by COVID-19, only 15 cruise ship calls to the island nation were made.
Francis said the best year for the cruise ship season was in 2019 when an average of 69,000 passengers were recorded and around 60 calls were made to Port Victoria.
"The 40 calls on this season's schedule are promising figures knowing that we are just slowly getting out of the pandemic," said Francis.