Despite the restrictions and conditions imposed by the current Covid-19 crisis, Mahe Shipping continues to maintain the highest possible level of service in meeting the requirements of our clients. This is illustrated by this series of photographs during the handling of this export to Durban.
Photos: Andy Gobine
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
Folowing the election of Wavel Ramkalawan as President of Seychelles at elections held during 22-24 October 2020, a new Cabinet of Ministers has been appointed, including Mr Antony Derjacques as Minister for Transport.
Mr Derjacques visited Port Victoria, on Thursday 5 November 2020, having taken office two days earlier, holding a meeting with senior management and touring the port area.
For the full story covered by Seychelles News Agency, follow this link.
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.”
Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) and the Blue Economy department are coordinating a study to assess the potential to establish a full-scale, professional ship repair industry in the country. The research will consider technical, environmental, administrative, legal, social and economic factors in the local context.
Mundy Penfold Limited (MPL), a UK-based consultancy firm won the bid for the project through open international tender. Mike Mundy and Andrew Penfold of MPL arrived in Seychelles on 19 January for a fact-finding mission.
The study is expected to last 6 months with the final report submitted in June 2020.
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.
A new quay to reduce unloading time of purse seiners and relieve congestion in the Seychelles’ Port of Victoria has been offically opened. Ile du Port Handling Services (IPHS) port is a 425-metre commercial fishing quay adjacent Port Victoria.
IPHS constructed and will manage the quay, carrying out stevedoring operations and other port activities. The port will be transferred to the government after recovery of construction and financing costs of US$18 million.
Almost 90 percent of tuna caught in Seychelles’ waters transits Port Victoria. The port is the third largest public-private partnership project made by the Seychelles Government, the others being the Indian Ocean Tuna canning factory and Land Marine, which provides stevedoring at Port Victoria.
The partnership for the port project was between the Seychelles’ government and Luxembourg-based Jaccar Holdings.
Seychelles Government also plans to extend the commercial port to 600m in length.
Seychelles Nation has reported that 38 security personnel from the Seychelles Ports Authority, Seychelles Coast Guard, Anti-Narcotics Bureau, Maritime and Rescue Coordination Centre and Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration have undergone training in anti-terrorism security at Port Victoria.
The training, conducted by security specialists from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service of the US Navy, aims to raise Port Victoria’s security standards to international safety norms required by the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.
The training was undertaken after the American Coast Guard had placed Port Victoria on an advisory list for being unsafe after it discovered a number of deficiencies in terms of anti-terrorism security. The training is to tighten up the loopholes in security at Port Victoria through conducting proper search of vehicles, cargo and personnel. The training forms part of a collaborative effort by the American and Seychelles governments to get Port Victoria to be struck off from the advisory list.
The full story can be read here
The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and the Government of Seychelles have joined forces to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean. Piracy threatens the security of sea trade routes and is estimated to cost the international economy US$7-12 billion per year.
The shipping lanes in ths vicinity of Seychelles EEZ are among the busiest in the world. Under the alliance, the UKHO conducted Navigation, Stabilisation Advice and Training (SONSAT) activities in Seychelles, intended to raise government officials’ awareness of existing infrastructure and other services such as the World-Wide Navigational Warning Service and Rescue Coordination Centres.
The UK Government’s Conflict Stability and Security Fund funded the training out on behalf of the Foreign Commonwealth Office. The programme is part of the UK support to the newly established Regional Centre for Operation Coordination in Victoria.
Seychelles Port Authority plans to expand Port Victoria in order to accommodate larger vessels and more vessels have reached an advanced stage. The existing quay of Port Victoria of 270 metres will be extended an additional 330 metres and will be able to accommodate two ships of up to 250 metres in length at the same time.
The project will is costingt around $107 million and commenced in late 2017. It is expected to and be completed by 2021. Port Victoria was built in 1972, and was last extended in 1986.