The Seychelles’ 2017-2018 cruise season is slowly coming to an end, and Queen Elizabeth is among the last cruise ships to visit the island nation this season.
Queen Elizabeth, one of the world's most famous cruise ships offering luxurious cruises around the world, docked in Port Victoria last Friday at 8am and left the same day at 8pm.
Arriving in Seychelles from Colombo, Sri Lanka, the ship was carrying 990 crew members of some 50 nationalities and 1,890 passengers of 27 different nationalities.
The passengers made the most of their one day stop in Port Victoria, opting to visit the capital, Victoria, buying souvenirs and visiting other interesting sights including the Botanical Garden and beaches.
The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne had the opportunity to meet with the Ship’s Captain, Inger Klein Thorhauge, on Friday afternoon.
He was accompanied by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis and officials of the Seychelles Ports Authority.
Captain Thorhauge spoke to the minister about the passengers’ excitement to be in the Seychelles and highlighted the warm welcome they received upon arrival.
The Queen Elizabeth crew even welcomed a group of 32 children from the School of the Exceptional Child who were visiting the Port on Friday onboard the ship, a gesture which was commended by the tourism minister.
“Visits like this bring enjoyment to most of the people, especially when you open your ship to occasional visits’” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne.
Discussions between the ministerial delegation and the Queen Elizabeth officials also focused on the importance of cruise tourism for Seychelles.
Minister Loustau-Lalanne said the Indian Ocean archipelago has been witnessing an upsurge in cruise business to its shores in recent years.
The Seychelles’ cruise season lasts from October to April and the current season is expected to close with a total of 41 port calls by cruise ships belonging to several cruise companies.
Minister Loustau-Lalanne also spoke about the planned six hundred metre extension of Port Victoria, which will provide a boost to the island nation’s reputation as a cruise destination.
If all goes according to plan, the Port Victoria extension and redevelopment project is expected to start early next year and should be completed by 2021.
The visit onboard Queen Elizabeth ended with the exchange of gifts and a short tour of some of the facilities onboard the ship, which has 12 decks in total.
It is to be noted that Queen Elizabeth also stopped in Seychelles in April last year.
Queen Elizabeth is one of three cruise ships belonging to Cunard - a luxury British cruise line based in Southampton and owned by Carnival Corporation. The cruise liner is currently on a four-month trip to and from Southampton. The cruise, which started in January features several stops including in the Indian Ocean including in Mauritius and Reunion, as well as in Southern Africa and the Americas.