- Aboard the ship were 763 passengers, of whom 585 were students from twenty different nations and 400 were crew members
- The students are set to visit institutions of higher learning, including the Technical University of Mombasa and the Kenyatta University Mombasa campus, for educational tours.
On Friday, the port of Mombasa received yet another cruise vessel. https://rb.gy/udd9h1
On Friday, the port of Mombasa received yet another cruise vessel.
The World Odyssey made her third visit to Kenya in 15 months.
The vessel popularly known as “Semester at Sea” is the world’s biggest floating campus, which operates academic voyages for students.
The ship will be in Mombasa for six days, up to February 14.
Aboard the ship were 763 passengers, of whom 585 were students from twenty different nations and 400 were crew members
The students are set to visit institutions of higher learning, including the Technical University of Mombasa and the Kenyatta University Mombasa campus, for educational tours.
They are also set to conduct excursions around the city and visit various wildlife parks during their stay, with many expected to go on safaris in Tsavo and Shimba Hills national parks.
Addressing the media after receiving the vessel, Captain Ali Abdille, the KPA harbour master and general manager of marine operations, said that they have continued to receive cruise vessels owing to the operationalization of the multi-million-shilling cruise terminal at the port.
“As a port authority, we have done what it takes to welcome these cruise vessels, and we would be happy for them to stay longer,” said Abdille.
KPA stated in a statement that the port of Mombasa has recorded an increase in cruise vessel calls, pointing to the improved connectivity of the port as a hub for cruise tourism in Africa.
The floating campus had an extensive visit to the country. It called the port of Mombasa last year and in 2022.
Last week, the port once again hosted MSC Poesia, one of the biggest cruise vessels to have called the port, with more than 2300 tourists.
The port is expected to receive another vessel in March.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) head of public relations, Wausi Walya, said that the arrival of the vessel for the third time is a testament that Mombasa is a favourable destination for cruises.
“We are excited as a tourism board to be receiving this vessel for the third time. This is a big statement in endorsing Mombasa as a favourite port of call,” said Walya.
She said that going by the numbers so far received since January, they have recorded a 50 per cent increase in cruise tourists arriving in the country.
“Last year, we closed the year with 3,123 cruise tourists. We are only in February, and we are experiencing 50 per cent growth; we are slightly over 6,000 now."
“This is a big addition to injecting money into the economy,” she said.
The students, she said, have presented a new opportunity in selling knowledge and cultural exchange tourism because most of them take a unit called global studies.
In that unit, as they move from country to country, they try to absorb as much as possible in the country they dock in.
“They will be able to learn the culture and history of the region,” she said.
She also lauded KPA for being a big partner in ensuring the end-to-end experience of visitors coming by cruise is well taken care of.
The captain of the vessel, Jan Master, said that the unique program for students aboard the vessel is that they take time to learn about a country they are heading to, and once they dock, they get time to explore more about the country.
“The main idea is that we bring the students around the world to explore different countries. Mostly we are six to seven days at sea where they learn about the countries, and then in a later stage we allow them to go explore the country, and that’s why we are here in Mombasa,” he said.
Also present to receive the ship were Mombasa County Executives for Trade and Tourism, Osman Mohammed, and his education counterpart, Dr. Mbwarali Kame.
Mbwarali said that they were looking at inviting the students to tour more universities and colleges in Mombasa for academic exchange programs.