Five cruise ships have been authorised to operate in Seychelles waters for the 2021/2022 season, including Le Bellot, which called at Mahe twice in November before proceeding to cruise in the inner islands.
For the current season, ships will operate only in Seychelles waters and will not proceed to make regional calls as was the case in the past. Passengers will arrive via flights to Seychelles, board the vessels for their cruise and return home by air
All cruiseships coming to Seychelles are required to submit to the authorities a checklist, Company and Ship Management, Covid-19 outbreak management plan detailing procedures and measures in place to handle cases, risk assessments, onboard testing capacity, social distancing, isolation facilities, rules for boarding and disembarking the ship among other measures.
Mrs Willemin explained that since the reopening of borders to flights, the country has recorded around 140,000 visitors, 39% more than during the same period in 2020. Arrivals are still almost 60% down from 2019.
Marketing and promotion of cruise ship is also beneficial in diversifying the products being offered to visitors and give the country competitive advantage.
The reopening will also reap economic benefits for border control agencies, most specifically the SPA, which pulled in around R9 million in revenue from port operations in good cruise ship seasons, not taking into account spillover in the domestic economy.
In going forward, it is essential that stakeholder authorities also collaborate towards a comprehensive cruise ship plan. Projects such as the port extension and waterfront development will be essential to the plan to increase daily spendin