First cruise ship of season 2022-2023 to dock in Port Victoria today |12 October 2022
● New passageway for entry and exit of visitors
The first cruise ship of the season 2022-2023, MS Europa 2, will dock in Port Victoria today.
This will kickstart the cruise ship season for 2022-2023 and Seychelles expects to welcome at least 18 ships between now and April 2023.
This was announced by the principal secretary for tourism, Sherin Francis and the chief executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), Sony Payet, in a press conference held yesterday at the Seychelles Ports Authority.
“The cruise ship season is an important milestone for Seychelles' tourism industry and with the first cruise ship we expect to receive between 350 and 400 visitors. A number of local operators depend on cruise ships to earn their living,” noted PS Francis.
To welcome this season’s first cruise ship, the SPA has been working hard. “When we did not have any cruise ships, we had been discussing how to improve on receiving them and to improve on the issues that we had in the past. Currently, we are making the final preparations to ensure that the visitors are safe in the SPA compound. A new passageway has been built on the right-hand side of the port facing the exit which leads to the parking of the Islands Development Company (IDC). This will provide visitors with a safer exit and entry point when using the port. No vendors will be allowed inside and SPA is putting up tents inside the IDC car park to welcome the vendors,” explained Mr Payet.
CEO Payet also shared that compared to previous years, minimal activities will take place on the premises of the port itself. These activities include the operation of small vendors, taxis, and destination management companies (DMCs).
With a lot of movement at the port, it is important to maintain order to avoid any unwanted incidents and Elvis Adrienne, road transport commissioner, has said the IDC car park will be properly demarcated.
“Taxis, vans, lorries and vendors will have their own space properly demarcated. There will also be police presence in the area and we urge people to follow the guidelines properly,” said Mr Adrienne.
Meanwhile, Mr Payet is urging all stakeholders to cooperate and follow the guidance given by the SPA personnel and the police for a proper welcome of our first cruise ship as the normal activities on the port will continue as usual.
“We cannot stop the heavy machinery and trucks going in and out of the port. Our main priority remains the safety of our visitors and we want them to have a pleasant time here without any accident,” added Mr Payet.
Text & photos by Vidya Gappy