Seychelles Elevates the Visitor Experience for the 2023-2024 Cruise Ship Season

The beginning of the highly anticipated 2023-2024 Cruise Ship season was launched by the arrival of the newly constructed “SH DIANA” on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at 6:30 a.m.

To kick off this exciting season, Mahe Shipping, the Seychelles shipping agent who got the responsibility to coordinate this year’s launch event, orchestrated a beautiful ceremony in collaboration with the Seychelles Ports Authority, the Tourism Department, and key partners such as APEX and Airtel.

As the visitors disembarked from the luxurious 5-star cruise “SH DIANA,” they were greeted by the breathtaking shores of Seychelles, accompanied by the enchanting sounds of traditional music at 9:00 a.m.

During the event, Mrs. Francis, the Principal Secretary for Tourism, emphasised the Department’s commitment to engaging with local stakeholders. Their aim is to ensure that Seychelles offers an unforgettable experience to the visitors expected to disembark from approximately 40 port calls, featuring a variety of cruise ships docking at Port Victoria.

“For this edition of the cruise ship season, we would like to operate differently. With the cruise ship village established within the IDC car park, we expect to improve visitor flow and ensure adequate visibility for all our licensed and registered operators. The cruise ship village should deter unlicensed operators and ensure service is to an expected level at all time. We are counting on all of our operators; namely, tour guides, tour operators, taxi operators, commission agents and boat charter operators amongst others to collaborate with us to make this season a success. “she announced.

The “SH Diana,” a pride of the Swan Hellenic fleet and one of the largest ships, boasts a capacity of 209 passengers and 141 staff, offering the epitome of luxury and personalized care. The yacht embarked on its maiden voyage in April 2023, touring the Mediterranean’s renowned antiquity sites.

“As we enter this cruise ship season, we anticipate that many of these vessels will traverse our archipelago, providing their guests with a unique Seychelles experience. Furthermore, we are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the MSC Spendida, the longest cruise vessel ever, measuring a staggering 333 meters in length, to berth at Mahe Quay. It’s worth noting that Mahe Quay measures 370 meters, making this an exciting new challenge we look forward to,” remarked Phillipa Samson on behalf of the Seychelles Ports Authority.

To conclude the brief ceremony, Captain Kai Ukkonen had the privilege of participating in a token exchange with the Managing Director of Mahe Shipping, Ms. Angelic Appoo. The highlight of this exchange was Ms. Appoo’s  gift to Captain Ukkonen – a genuine coco de mer, a treasure from the heart of the Seychelles.

The excitement did not end there! Following this enchanting exchange, a delegation from the Tourism Department boarded the remarkable vessel, where they embarked on a captivating tour that unveiled the cherished stories of the magnificent ship.

The 2023-2024 season is expected to conclude in May 2024, featuring a total of approximately 40 calls from 21 different cruise vessels, promising an unforgettable and enriching experience for all who visit.

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