GREAT excitement is building in tourism circles as the Namibian Ports Authority gets ready to welcome six giant cruise liners to a recently completed jetty specially designed to receive disembarking passengers in the port of Walvis Bay.
The MS Albatros was supposed to be first passenger liner to moor at the new jetty but because it was in need of fuel and other supplies the vessel moored along the old quay which is equipped to bunker fuel for vessels.
Namport will now focus on the first of six other passenger liners scheduled to visit the port before the end of the year before the new passenger liner jetty will officially receive its first vessel. The fact that cruise liners will dock away from the commercial port facilities means that they will not be subjected to normal time constraints brought on by docking schedules of cargo vessels.
According to a statement by the Namibian Ports Authority the Albatros officially opened cruise liner season for the latter part of the year. The MS Albatros is expected to return to the shores of Namibia before end of 2019 and will in all probability dock at the new passenger liner jetty she does not need to take on supplies again.
The MS Albatros, is one of the smallest world cruise ships operating once a year on an around-the-world itinerary to ports in Asia, Africa and Australia. It has eight passenger decks and a total of 420 cabins,
Six other passenger vessels; the Voyager, the Boudicca, the Bremen, the Katharine, the Queen Elizabeth and the Aidamira will visit the port before the end of the year.
Justina Evelinus Acting Executive: Commercial Namport said in the statement that the port is geared and ready to receive 17 passenger vessels in the first quarter of the New Year.
This after history was made in the port at the beginning of the year when four luxury cruise liners came alongside and moored at the docks at the same time. More than 7 000 tourists sembarked from the vessels to take in the scenery in and around the two main coastal towns.
“The docking of passenger vessels are not only beneficial to Namport as the receiving entity, but also to the Town of Walvis Bay and more so to the economy as the successful hosting of international visitors is depended on the teamwork from all local stakeholders who receive the guests,” Evelinus said.
Local stakeholders range from the transport sector, tourist facilities, craft vendors as well as local shopping malls within the town of Walvis Bay.
Since the beginning of 2019, the Walvis Bay port has had 16 calls from passenger liners.
The new passenger jetty will at a later stage of the port development integrate with the planned waterfront development and the new Walvis Bay Marina and Yacht Club which is set to boost the tourism potential of the Walvis Bay even further.