Tourism Boost as Marco Polo Ship Docks in Kenya’s New KSh 350 million Cruise Terminal

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Kenya’s tourism industry Thursday received a cruise ship with 575 passengers and 346 crew members on board after docking at the newly built KSh 350 million (USD 3.5 M) port of Mombasa.

The luxury MS, Marco Polo ship will be in Mombasa port overnight before setting a voyage to Seychelles which is its next port of call.

The terminal has duty-free shops, restaurants, conference facilities for key stakeholders in the industry to ensure that tourists and stakeholders in the tourism sector receive adequate services.

Marco Polo weighs over 22 000 tonnes and stretches over 170 metres, with a carrying capacity of 1 260 guests and onboard facilities including jacuzzis, a gym, a garden lounge, a theatre and much more. Originally built in 1965, the cruise liner is operated under charter by UK-based Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) and flies the flag of the Bahamas. 

The Kenya Ports Authority chairman Joseph Kibwana said all passengers on board were screened before disembarking inline with the provisions of the Health Act.

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) partnered with Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) in the terminal construction.

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Last year, MS Albatros, which is operated by Phoenix Reisen, docked at Mombassa’s new cruise ship terminal in November, bringing over 400 tourists and 300 crew members to the port.

Overall, some 2.05 million tourists visited Kenya last year, less than a 1% increase from 2018. The top four sources for tourists in 2019 comprised U.S. (245,000 visitors), Uganda (223,000), Tanzania (194,000) and U.K. (181,000). 

Kenya Earns Ksh163.56 billion from Tourism in 2019