Seychelles welcomes first cruise ship for 2022-23 season |13 October 2022
Visitors get warm Creole welcome
By Vidya Gappy
The cruise season 2022-2023 successfully opened yesterday with the arrival of MS Europa 2 with 373 visitors and 366 personnel on board.
The luxury ship managed by a German company were carrying mainly German tourists.
Upon arrival, the tourists were welcomed with a locally made gift locally and traditional songs and music.
Upon their descent from the ship, some were already joining the dance group while others had already booked their car to tour Mahé.
“We are so excited to be in Seychelles and we will stay on Mahé for five days before returning to the ship,” said a couple.
Another couple had already booked their car and for three days they will make sure they visit every corner of Mahé before heading to La Digue where they’ve already booked their bicycles also!
Most of the visitors were excited to talk to us but there were also others who were still on the ship contemplating the beauty of our ocean.
Welcoming our guests, principal secretary for Tourism, Sherin Francis, said: “Although we rely a lot on the tourists coming by air, tourists coming on cruise ships also contribute towards our economy. We look forward to the season and there are many local operators who earn their living from the cruise season.”
Ms Francis also spoke about the work accomplished by the tour operators who travel the world to sell Seychelles as a destination and the length of time it takes to get a cruise liner to our ports.
She also acknowledged the work of the Indian Ocean Port Association and the Vanilla Islands Association who have increased visibility of the Indian Ocean.
“I call on the daily operators to make use of all the opportunities these cruise ships bring. Some are here only for 24 hours but make sure to show them our beautiful island. Let us join together to make their stay memorable.”
PS Francis also made a special call to the artisans located at the craft village: “We are talking with the destination marketing companies (DMCs) to make their visits a bit longer at the craft village but the artisans have to make sure that they are open and proposing unique and attractive products.”
To welcome the first cruise ship, the deputy chief executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Egbert Moustache, noted that everything went well in their preparations apart from the fact that they could not put up the tent at the IDC car park for small vendors on account of a missing part.
“But we are working to have it ready soon,” he said.
Other guests present at the event were representatives of Creole Travel Services, Mason’s Travel, personnel from the tourism department and from SPA.
Mason’s Travel was the DMC handling the cruise ship.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the cruise ship’s arrival yesterday.
Photos by Joena Meme