Mombasa to receive first cruise ship with 800 tourists

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Mombasa to receive first cruise ship with 800 tourists
Mombasa to receive first cruise ship with 800 tourists

Africa-Press – Kenya. The Port of Mombasa is scheduled to receive this year’s maiden cruise vessel MV World Odyssey on Sunday at 9 am.

This will be the first cruise vessel to be handled at the port since the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic in March 2020.

The vessel, loaded with more than 800 passengers and crew, will dock in tomorrow and is expected to depart the port of Mombasa after five days on December 2.

The timely arrival of the vessel towards peak tourism season is expected to boost the economy of the region and regain the glory of the Coastal city as hub for tourism.

The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Penina Malonza arrived in Mombasa on Saturday in readiness to receive the ship and crew.

“I am here on a mission to receive the Odyssey cruise ship that will be docking tomorrow. For the last two years we have not received any cruise ship, it is a great honour and we have to celebrate this,” Malonza said.

She was speaking after doing an impromptu visit and tour of the Sh700 million refurbished Kibarani Park on Saturday afternoon.

This is the first visit for Malonza in the coast region since she was appointed Tourism CS.

Malonza noted that the tourism sector was making progress to recover from the covid-19 pandemic.

She said the ministry was planning to launch city tours aimed at markteting tourism sites across major cities in the country.

“Mombasa for instance is endowed with a lot of tourist sites that we need to explore,” Malonza said.

Responding to the issues of open skies in Mombasa, Malonza said that discussions were ongoing adding that it is a win-win discussion.

Tourism players in the coast region have been pushing for Open Skies Policy in Mombasa to allow in direct International flights to the Mombasa International Airport.

Malonza also promised to complete the multibillion Ronald Ngala Utalii College which was one of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy projects in the coastal region.

The project’s initial cost was Sh4.9 billion, but due to delay and lack of funding on time, it will end up costing Sh11 billion once fully completed by next year.

Phase 1 of the project, which started in 2010, has taken about 12 years.

The first phase was to be completed within five years and be ready by 2018, but it has been delayed by four more years.

In the first phase, the college will have an administration block, two tuition blocks, a state-of-the-art kitchen facility, a dining room and one block for the hostels.

Phase 2 of the project is expected to have a students’ library, students centre, additional hostel block, staff quarters and a multi-purpose hall with a capacity of 5,000 people.

“Kenya is globally known for producing the best trainees in the tourism sector, my promise is that we shall complete the project,” she said.

Malonza also appreciated the food programme being undertaken by Mombasa businessman Hasmukh Patel, the director of Mombasa Cement Company.

The feed programme at the Kibarani Park feeds about 40,000 people daily.

She aknowledged the company’s philanthropic works promising that the government aknowledges the works he is doing.

“I was raised just across the road here in Changamwe, i have seen the great work that Mombasa cement is doing over the years. I promise that as a ministry we shall honor him for his great work he has been doing,” Malonza said.

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