The cruise ship Aurora docked at Port Victoria this week in Seychelles for the first time and left the quay at 15 minutes past 5 in the evening.
Aurora is part of a fleet of eight ships belonging to the P&O Cruises which forms part of a company called Carnival UK.
Before arriving in Seychelles, Aurora was in Sri Lanka and after leaving Port Victoria it will then visit 2 other islands in the Indian Ocean, namely Mauritius and Reunion.
It will then move to Cape Town, then to the countries on 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, were there to greet the ship upon arrival.
They were welcomed by the ship’s Captain, Peter Philpott; the Deputy Captain, Patrick McGuire; and other high officials on board Aurora.
Speaking at the short meeting, Minister St.Ange said it is important for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and 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 the islands.
This is today working, and the proof of it is that this year, more cruise ships have stopped at Seychelles 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 passengers 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 the islands on holiday.
Gifts were later exchanged as souvenirs at the port calls.
Aurora has the capacity to hold up to 1,878 passengers with over 900 crew members.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) . For more information on Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, click here.