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LAMU (Xinhua) — A man uses a donkey to carry goods in Lamu town while locals ride in an Arab-style sailing boat with a single lateen at Lamu beach, January 29, 2018. XINHUA PHOTOS: JOHN OKOYO

Kenya says tourists sea arrivals up in past 3 months 

MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) on Monday said the number of international tourists coming to Kenya via the sea has tremendously increased since the start of the cruise ship tourism season in October 2017.

KPA Head of Corporate Bernard Osero said since the start of the season, the port of Mombasa has received five cruise ships with international guests from Britain, the United States, Canada and other nationals.

“Approximately 3,681 international arrivals have come to Kenya through the port of Mombasa within the three months, since the first cruise ship on Oct. 23,” Osero. 

He spoke after receiving MS Silver Spirit that docked at the port of Mombasa with 890 tourists, which include 496 passengers and 394 crew members. It was coming from Zanzibar heading to Seychelles on Monday.

The vessel spent a night at the Kenya coast as the tourist tour Maasai Mara, Shima Hills, Fort Jesus, Amboseli and other attractive sites in the country.

This is the second time MS Silver Spirit is coming to Kenya in a span of two months. It was here on Dec. 21 2017 with 472 tourists and 365 crew.

Speaking during the reception of the tourists at the port, Osero said the return of cruise ships is very encouraging.

“Six years ago, we use to have zero cruise vessels docking into this port. It is encouraging to see us rekindling the old spirits and being a key player in attracting passengers by sea,” said Osero.

Osero said the 4.5 million U.S. dollars modern cruise ship terminal, under construction at Berth number 1, is 50 percent complete. It will be ready by July.

He said the world-class cruise terminal will allow simultaneous berthing of two Oasis-class cruise ships, which are the world largest passenger ships.

Other cruise ships that have docked at the port of Mombasa this season include; the Omani luxury cruise ship christened Fulk Al Salamah (ship of peace) on October with 350 passengers on board.

On Jan. 4, a Norwegian vessel MS Nautica made its second call at the port of Mombasa with 962 passengers on board from Zanzibar in Tanzania heading to Seychelles.

MS Nautica was first in the country on Nov. 25 with 642 passengers from Marshall Islands in the North Pacific Ocean heading to Zanzibar.



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