Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture accompanied by Colonel Andre Ciseau, the CEO of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Anne Lafortune, the PS for Tourism, Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board and Joe Morin from Mahe Shipping went on the Queen Victoria Cruise Ship soon after it docked and were welcomed on board by Christopher Rynd, the Commodore of the ship.
In a small ceremony in one of the upper lounges of the ship, Minister Alain St.Ange welcomed the ship’s Commodore and his Senior Team saying that he valued their call to Port Victoria. The Minister said as he presented Commodore Rynd with a framed picture of Seychelles with words marking the arrival of the ship in Port Victoria that the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Seychelles Ports Authority and the Seychelles Tourism Board are working jointly to ensure that each cruise ship feels welcomed in Port Victoria. “We value you Port Call and hope that you will find time to get ashore and see a bit of Seychelles. Your passengers are on excursions and it is important for us that you also discover our Seychelles” said Minister St.Ange.
When he was questioned by the press about the value to Seychelles of such a large ship in Port Victoria, Minister St.Ange said that two thousand passengers and nine hundred crew would today see Seychelles. “This is like a tourism trade fair. Instead of giving our brochure we these visitors are seeing first hand the beauty of Seychelles. They can then tell their family, friends and acquaintances about Seychelles as a holiday destination. This increased the visibility of our islands and ensures we remain relevant in the world of Tourism. Secondly the excursions sold and the sales by local artisans are all business taking place when such a ship in in Port Victoria” said Minister St.Ange.
Excursions for about 50 percent of the passengers was prebooked and organized by the local DMC whereas the other passengers strolled into Victoria of took taxis of local guides for personalized tours. Cat Cocos speed ferry also took passengers to Praslin on excursions.
Inside the Port itself a kiosk had been erected and a local bank was playing music as passengers disembarked. A small artisanal village was also set up around the Port Offices.
The Queen Victoria is scheduled to leave Port Victoria at 4.30 pm this afternoon.