Seychelles welcomes one of the longest cruise ships |11 November 2023
Seychelles yesterday welcomed the 'Zuiderdam,' one of the longest cruise ships to berth at Port Victoria.
The vessel, measuring 285 metres in length, has a capacity to carry 2364 passengers and 817 crew members.
Zuiderdam, the second cruise ship of the season, is being handled by local agent Mahé Shipping. On this occasion, the company organised a tour on board the vessel for students and representatives from the Maritime Training Academy.
Angelique Appoo, the managing director of Mahé Shipping, took the opportunity to make a donation of the ‘Seychelles, Ships, and the Sea’ books to the Seychelles Maritime Academy and the vessel's representatives.
The Seychelles Ports Authority, represented by its deputy chief executive, Dr Egbert Moustache, contributed by donating their recent book ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Mahé Quay’ to the captain of the vessel, along with a souvenir from Seychelles.
Folkert Visser, the captain of the vessel, expressed gratitude to Mahé Shipping and the Seychelles Ports Authority for the warm welcome. He mentioned that the visit coincided with the 21st anniversary of the vessel and marked its first time in Seychelles.
Speaking to the students, Captain Visser welcomed them onboard and noted “it will be a big motivation for the students in seafaring. I encourage you to join the cruise ship business, even you will be far away from home, and you will get the chance to discover the world”.
Currently on an ‘African Tour’ since October 10, the ship will journey for 73 days, covering the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Oman, and Seychelles.
The voyage will continue along the south coast and west coast of Africa, including Cape Verde, with the final destination being the USA on December 22.
Captain Visser, who has never been to Seychelles before, expressed his hope to find some time to explore the island.
He presented a souvenir illustrating Zuiderdam in Seychelles to the deputy of SPA.
Captain Visser shared that Zuiderdam is managed by Holland America Line, a recognised leader in cruising for 150 years. The company operates a fleet of 11 modern classic ships, offering more than 500 sailings annually to all seven continents. Their cruises include popular and less-travelled ports worldwide.
Holland America Line takes pride in its environmental programme, having earned ISO 14001 certification in June 2006 and subsequent recertification. The company is committed to environmental management, believing it is essential to the successful conduct of their business and the well-being of guests, crews, ships, and the environment in which they operate.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the ceremony yesterday.
Photos: Louis Toussaint