Another record: Seychelles docks longest cruise ship -- again
MS Queen Victoria docked in Port Victoria Monday morning. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Only two weeks after Seychelles’ Port Victoria welcomed the longest vessel in its history, the record was broken on Monday with the arrival of an even longer cruise ship, the MS Queen Victoria.
The MS Queen Victoria is 294 metres long, beats the record of 273 metres held for two weeks by the MS Aurora as the longest ship to dock in the Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
The two long cruise ships underscore the increased cruise ship business in Seychelles after a period of decline during the Somali pirate years. The Seychelles Port Authority has welcomed 13 cruise ships this year, according to the tourism statistics.
“We are very happy and we will continue to work very hard to bring such ships in the Port of Victoria,” says the chief executive of Seychelles Port Authority, Colonel Andre Ciseau.
Named after late British monarch, the MS Queen Victoria is operated by Cunard Line, a British-American cruise line. It was built in 2007 at a cost of $630 million.
Upon making his welcoming tour on the vessel, Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St. Ange said that 45 percent of the passengers of MS Queen Victoria have booked excursions on the islands.
|Seychelles' Tourism minister Alain St. Ange, Tourism Board CEO, Sherin Naiken and other tourism officials were given a tour of the majestic cruise ships. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
The Seychelles archipelago depends largely on tourism, the top pillar of its economy. SNA spoke to a few passengers of MS Queen Victoria about their plans for the day.
“I can say you live on a very beautiful island. We’ve seen the fauna, the botanical garden, the clock tower and the main streets,” says Joe Riley after making a short tour in Victoria, the capital, with his wife.
Sonya Sharman told SNA that: “We have planned to do some sailing in the afternoon, swim and snorkel on the coast of the island. This morning we’ve seen the town and now we want to see the marine life.”
John Anderson, who resides in Hawaii, says he preferred to take the shuttle bus for visiting historical sites as he goes to beach often where he comes from.
|MS Queen Victoria is 294 metres long and is the longest ship to berth in Port Victoria, two weeks after the 115-island archipelago welcomed MS Aurora, which is 273 long. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
The MS Queen Victoria, traveling from Colombo, Sri Lanka, is carrying 800 crew members and over 1,800 passengers. After Seychelles, it will travel to Mauritius.
On Saturday Seychelles was voted the Indian Ocean's leading cruise destination and Port Victoria the leading cruise port at the World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2016.