THE tourism industry along the Namibian coast got another healthy injection when the MV Nautica cruise liner moored at Berth Nine in the port of Walvis Bay.
The Nautica is the second passenger liner to dock in Walvis Bay in less than a week and five more of these giant ships is expected to visit the port during the remainder of January.
The new passenger liner jetty known as Berth Nine will host the vessel for an overnight stay and will depart for Port Elizabeth on the South African south coast later on Thursday. Walvis Bay is the only port on the ship’s current cruise around the southern tip of Africa where she will linger longer than 24 hours which means a lot for the local tourism industry.
The Nautica became part of Walvis Bay’s history a year ago when she and three other huge cruise liners the MSC Musica, Aida Amira and the Queen Elizabeth docked in the port at the same time. At nearly 190 metres in length the nautical was the smallest of the four passenger liners.
The ship currently moored at Berth Nine has an interesting history.
On 30 November 2008 the Nautica was sailing from Safaga, Egypt to Salah, Oman on the Maritime Safety Protection Area established in the Gulf of Aden due to persistent pirate attacks on the area, when the ship encountered two Somali pirate skiffs. Captain Jurica Brajcic ordered the ship to take evasive manoeuvres and to sail away at flank speed. The Nautica was able to outrun her attackers, although the ship was fired upon by the pirates, none of the 684 passengers or 401 crew members on board were injured during the attack. Following the attack the Nautica proceeded normally to her next scheduled port of call.
On 20 September 2018, during Storm Ali, the Nautica broke free from her moorings at Greenock in Scotland at the height of the tempest leaving holidaymakers stranded for some time.
Cruise liners from all over the world normally visit Walvis Bay from late spring until late summer which gives a healthy boost to the local land based tourism industry.