More cruise ships dock at Mombasa port after Sh1.4b revamp


Passengers disembarking from a Cruise Ship Vessel christened MS Ambience after docking at the Port of Mombasa in Mombasa County on March 27, 2024. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The operationalisation of a modern cruise ship terminal at the port of Mombasa has attracted more international cruise lines to the country.

Mombasa Port on Saturday received its fourth cruise ship this year with 1,500 passengers and crew as the high cruise tourism season comes to an end next month. MS Ambience arrived to Port Victoria from Seychelles last Wednesday.

Tourism Principal Secretary John Ololtua led senior government officials in welcoming the ship and its passengers to the country. “We are delighted to once again receive this cruise ship which is on its maiden tour of the port of Mombasa and wish to reiterate our commitment to ensuring that cruise tourism prospers in the country,” Ololtua said.

He was flanked by Kenya Tourism Board Board Member Victor Shitakha, and Tourism Fund Regional Manager John Mutua. Ololtua said the ship’s port stay will boost earnings.

‘’The passengers and crew are visiting game parks and scenic nature conservation areas like the Amboseli and Tsavo national parks as well as enjoying a wonderful tour of the historical port city of Mombasa,’’ Ololtua said.

“Total passengers and crew since January who have docked aboard the four vessels number 8,366,’’ he stated.

Kenya Ports Authority General Manager for Engineering Julius Tai said the cruise season has been excellent with more cruise ships visiting due to improved infrastructure at the port.

“The frequent port calls demonstrate milestone achievements as a result of proper infrastructure and service to support turnaround for vessels calling at Mombasa port,” said Tai.

This comes as stakeholders in the industry asked the State to aggressively market Mombasa port as a key hub.

“There are adequate support infrastructure here like proximity to airport, railway, revamped road network and various tourist attraction sites which are ideal in cruise ship development,” said National Secretary for Tourism Professional Association Sam Ikwaye.