Namibia’s cruising sector picks up pace

Namibia’s cruising sector picks up pace

The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) is expecting 22 passenger cruise vessels to dock at the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz respectively, over November and December.

The first of these, MS AIDAaura – operated by the German-owned AIDA Cruises – will call at Walvis Bay today (Thursday, November 10).

The 48 200-tonne, 1 600-passenger ship became the first cruise ship to call at the Port of Walvis Bay on January 2, 2020. AIDAaura is currently on a 27-day one-way cruise from Bremerhaven to Cape Town. The vessel set sail from Banjul in Gambia on November 2 en route to Walvis Bay, from where it will sail for Lüderitz and arrive in Cape Town on November 14.

Namport said 15 cruise vessels would dock at the Port of Walvis Bay and that seven passenger vessels were set to berth at the Port of Lüderitz.

Passenger cruises officially resumed at these ports on November 25 last year – after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Elias Mwenyo, Executive for Commercial Services at Namport, said, as a key player in Namibia’s economy, the ports authority was committed to ensuring that all visitors who disembarked from passenger vessels did so “in a safe and welcoming manner”.

“Passenger vessels bring holiday-makers to the harbour towns and contribute significantly to the local tourism industry by spending money at local shops, making use of the public transport system, going on day excursions as well as purchasing souvenir items from vendors who specialise in local arts and crafts,” he said.

Vessels docking at these ports over the next two months include the Seven Seas VoyagerMS Norwegian JadeMSC SinfoniaMSC Mila 3AZAMARA and MS Zuiderdam.

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