The Seychelles Minister for Tourism & Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sylvestre Radegonde, has announced the resumption of cruise ship activities in the country commencing August 2021.
The announcement was front page news in th Seychelles Nation. To read the full story click here.
The world may be gripped by pandemic. There may have been no cruiseship calls at Seychelles for more than 6 months. Indeed there may be virtually no cruiseships sailing anywhere on the high seas right now. However, this has not prevented Seychelles from being named the best cruise destination in the Indian Ocean for the umpteenth time. Perhaps it has been that way since the first cruise passengers passed through the islands more than 500 years ago? Of course, Vasco da Gama never landed. But then, there were no shipping agents in those days.
For more details see Seychelles Nation 12 November 2020
Following the announcement that Seychelles will ban cruise ships until 2022 to prevent the arrival of COVID-19 by sea, Rheanna Norris, Associate Analyst GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers the following analysis:
“The decision to ban cruise ships from visiting the Seychelles via its Victoria port could spark a major downturn for this tourism-reliant economy. Cruise ships do not only bring visitors to its 115 islands, but also encourages spending on entertainment and foodservice, alongside accommodation and inspiration for repeat trips.
“Arrivals to the Seychelles via cruise ships quadrupled between 2017 and 2018, with further increases forecasted for 2020 and beyond. This new legislation will eradicate this increase and the islands will rely on tourism by air travel only.
“According to GlobalData, tourism accounted for 25.5% of the Seychelles’ GDP in 2019, making it one of the most tourism dependent countries in the world. Alongside existing travel restrictions and a global slowdown in travel, banning cruise ships is further bad news for this luxury destination.
"This strategic move will help the Seychelles’ other key economic sector: fishing. As its port in Victoria is its only point of entry for the rest of the world, its priority is to not compromise the maritime industry and to protect the nation from the global pandemic at all costs.
“The Seychelles still have a point of entry for tourism via air, and it has already embarked on the road to recovery. With assistance from the government, civil society and Seychelles Investment Board, tourism businesses can look to adapt to the future and inevitable changes in travel.”
Prior to Covid-19, the cruise industry had been experiencing record growth, including 124 ocean-going cruise ships on order, an investment of about US$69 billion. Wybcke Meier, CEO of Tui Cruises, told the newspaper The Telegraph “I am convinced that in the long-term the demand for premium and luxury cruises will not change....we will see the demand for cruises return to pre-crisis level within 12 to 18 months.”
An MoU has been signed in Seychelles to commission a study on how to raise the standard of port services in the region to similar levels throughout the 'Vanilla Islands'. Seychelles currently holds the presidency of the Vanilla Islands group, which comprises Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion, Mayotte, and the Maldives.
The chief executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Ronny Brutus, said that “the study will also help to compare the different ports in the region to bring all ports to the same standard to meet the expectation of visitors. It will help us to adopt the best practices offered by other ports.”
The study is being financed by the European Union and the Agence Française de Développement at a cost of $360,000. The study has been awarded to Inchcape, a company with which Mahe Shipping has enjoyed a long relationship over many years.
More details can be read here.
The 180-metre long cruise ship MS Nautica called at Port Victoria today. With accommodation for 684 guests in 342 cabins (70% with private verandas) Nautica is owned and operated by Oceania Cruises. She was built in 2000 in France for Renaissance Cruises and renovated in 2014, becoming a practically new ship. The decks are made of the finest teak, custom stone coating and high quality tiles. The facilities are luxurious with four first-class restaurants, eight lounges and bars, a fitness centre and a spa.
Le Lapérouse arrived at Port Victoria tosday. This brand new vessel is the lead ship of Ponant Explorers-class cruiseships operated by Ponant. Each member of the class has been allocated the name of a famous French explorer. Le Lapérouse is named after naval officer Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse, who was appointed in 1785 by Louis XVI to lead a scientific expedition around the world. This followed the Pacific Ocean discoveries of Captain James Cook, who Lapérouse greatly admired. Built by VARD, Le Lapérouse was launched on on 18 December 2017, and following successful sea trials that began in May 2018 she was delivered to Ponant in Ålesund on 15 June 2018.
The cruiseship Boudicca operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines made it's third call of the 2018/2019 season at Port Victoria on 20-21 November. The vessel made inward clearance at Praslin on 19 November. Two further calls are planned, one in December and one in January 2019.
The cruiseship Boudicca operated by Fred Olsen Cruises has called at Port Victoria, Mahe on 5 November, sailing on 6 November bound for Praslin. Mahe Shipping acted as agents for the vessel.
Named after the British warrior Queen, Boudicca caters for up to 880 passengers. Three further calls are scheduled before the end of 2018 with a further two calls in 2019.
Seychelles Ports Authority and partners have imposed stricter controls at the commercial port as the new cruise ship season begins.
The Ports Authority has in the past had problems controlling operators who provide services to tourists with the increase in activity in the port during the cruise ship season, which starts in mid-October and runs until early May each year. For this season, a schedule has been introduced by which taxis, destination management companies and tour operators will be granted access to the port to collect clients.
The full story can be read here.