670 tourists aboard US cruise ship to Mombasa Kenya

Some of the tourists on board the ‘MV Nautica’ cruise liner disembark soon after the ship docked at the port of Mombasa. PHOTO: GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD

A US-owned luxurious cruise liner made a return trip to Mombasa port less than a month after it docked on Boxing Day, last year.

The ship, christened MS Nautica, on a round the Indian Ocean voyage docked early yesterday morning with 670 passengers from 18 different nations, majority of whom were Americans.

The vessel had arrived from the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar and was scheduled to sail out of Mombasa for Mahe, Seychelles, to continue with its Indian Ocean cruise.

Disembarking tourists took off in tour vans and buses to Tsavo East National Park, where close to 250 passengers were scheduled to have lunch at the scenic Ashnil Aruba Lodge, Shimba Hills Game Reserve, while others went on a tour of Mombasa town.

Stakeholders in the multi-billion shilling tourism industry termed the ship’s return visit a “symbol of confidence in destination Kenya”.

Ashnil Group of Hotels Sales and Marketing Manager Paul Kurgat said following renewed sea patrols by both the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and multi-national navies, the Indian Ocean waters have been safe from piracy attacks.

“The cruise ship’s arrival serves to boost minimal numbers in hotel accommodation. We are hopeful that in the near future, cruise liners will be docking for more port days,” Kurgat said.

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