Seychelles' cruise season 2022-2023 will commence with the arrival of Hapag-Lloyd's ship MS Europa 2 expected in Port Victoria (Mahe Island) on Wednesday, October 12. The port authority now is making final preparations to ensure that the safety of visitors remains a top priority.
The first call on Seychelles expects to bring ~350-400 tourists in its first sailing.
Sherin Francis, Principal Secretary for Tourism, revealed that the opening of the cruise ship season was an important milestone for Seychelles' tourism industry.
She said there were a lot of local operators that depended on the opening of the season for their livelihood and business.
Tourism is Seychelles' economy's top contributor. According to the finance ministry, the sector's revenue for 2022 had increased and reached US$257 million compared to 2021, which was US$87 million for January-June.
18 ships, some of which will be offering several sailings, are scheduled to call on Port Victoria/other islands of the archipelago located in the western Indian Ocean.
For the new cruise season that will run through April 17, 2023, the SPA-Seychelles Ports Authority opened a new passageway that will provide visitors with a safer exit/entry point when using the port.
According to the chief executive of the authority, Sony Payet, "after a long period of not getting any cruise ship calls due to the COVID pandemic," they understood that they had to launch it in a proper manner, to improve on the issues that they had in the past.
Before the COVID crisis, cruise ships were a US$45 billion global industry, carrying ~20M passengers annually, with a loyal fan base.