Seychelles welcomed another cruise ship yesterday morning, this time being the longest to berth at Port Victoria.
Aurora is part of a fleet of eight ships belonging to the P&O Cruises which forms part of a company called Carnival UK.
The ship docked at Port Victoria this week for the first time and left the quay at 15 minutes past five in the evening.
Before arriving in Seychelles, Aurora was in Sri Lanka and after leaving Port Victoria it will then visit two other islands in the Indian Ocean, namely Mauritius and Reunion.
It will then move to Cape Town then to the countries in the west coast of Africa ̶ Namibia, Gambia and Cape Verde, before heading to the Canary islands. Aurora will go back to Southampton on April 26.
The Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange accompanied by the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board Sherin Naiken and that of the Seychelles Ports Authority Colonel Andre Ciseau.
They were welcomed by the ship’s captain Peter Philpott, the deputy captain Patrick McGuire and other high official on board Aurora.
Speaking at the short meeting, Minister St.Ange said it is important for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Seychelles Tourism Board along with the Seychelles Ports Authority to welcome the captain, crew and the ship’s passengers to Seychelles.
In an interview with members of the local press, Minister St.Ange said the Seychelles Tourism Board along with the Seychelles Ports Authority have been working hard to bring cruise ships to our islands.
This is today working and the proof of it is that this year we have had more cruise ships than before, he added.
“But it is important to break the perception that cruise ship passengers are counted as visitors arriving in the country,” the Minister said.
“They are not counted as visitor arrivals as there is a section in the statistics that deals only with cruise ships. Cruise ships are important for our economy as they buy souvenirs, excursions, handicrafts and spend in Seychelles, and the ships pay port dues.”
Another benefit is that the cruise ships’ passengers are able to discover Seychelles and then they can come back to our islands on holiday.
Gifts were later exchanged as souvenirs of the port calls.