From mid-November, the Seychelles will welcome vessels with a maximum of 300 passengers for the 2021-2022 cruise ship season, said a top official. This resumes port activity in the Seychelles after an 18-month hiatus caused by the pandemic. Cruise operators foresee high tourist interest in the island island all through early 2024, given the accumulated demand.
The principal secretary at the Department of Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Alan Renaud, told media in the Seychelles that “to facilitate the safe re-start of cruise ship operations, the department has created a ‘Covid-19 Company and Cruise Ship Checklist’.”
This is for cruise ship operators to follow in order that the ships adopted minimum safe measures to be implemented in their operations in SeychellesAlan Renaud, principal secretary at the Department of Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine
He went on to say that the checklist was developed with the joint guidance for cruise ship operations from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), as revised in May 2021.
It follows a goal-based approach, identifying measures to be taken on ships and ashore. It covers topics including risk assessment, responsibilities in relation to Covid-19 matters, resources and personnel needed, shipboard operations and response to a Covid-19 outbreak among others.
The checklist will outline the duties and authorities of the agencies in Seychelles, the passenger terminal arrangements at all ports of call, the contingencies in case of a Covid-19 outbreak, and generally the coordination between cruises and ports in relation to Covid-19Alan Renaud, principal secretary at the Department of Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine
Prior to the pandemic, cruise ships were a $45 billion global industry, carrying 20 million passengers a year, with a very loyal fan base. The industry was also heavily impacted by the pandemic, with many countries putting place no sail orders for cruises.
On March 9th, 2020, the government of Seychelles announced a temporary closure of the island nation to cruise ships to protect the population from the threat of the Covid-19 virus.
Renaud said that the Seychelles will be rolling out a maritime version of the present travel authorization system, adapted to cruise ships and yachts. It will serve as a health protection system as well as an enhanced border control system for incoming vessels.
We’re pleased to report that since we announced we would re-open our sea borders earlier this year, we have voyages planned from November 2021 all the way to February 2024Alan Renaud, principal secretary at the Department of Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine
Port Victoria recorded 39 cruise ship calls during the 2019/2020 season, with a total of 63,442 passengers. The last vessel to call before the season was forced to close prematurely was the Bougainville, operated by the Compagnie Du Ponant, on March 11th last year.