Seychelles Cruise Season

Seychelles Prepares for Upcoming Cruise Season with New Regulations

In anticipation of the upcoming cruise ship season from October 2023 to May 2024, tourism officials and operators convened at the Docklands Auditorium in Victoria.

The primary focus of the meeting was to address the challenge of unlicensed service providers and to enhance the experience for cruise ship tourists.

Tourism Seychelles, the promotional wing of the Department of Tourism, led the discussion. They introduced the new Cruise Village, slated to be established at the Island Development Company (IDC) car park adjacent to the Port of Victoria. This initiative, starting from October 24, aims to ensure that only licensed providers serve the cruise ship tourists.

Sherin Francis, the principal secretary for Tourism, emphasized the objective of the Cruise Village. She stated, “Our goal is to prevent unlicensed providers from overshadowing licensed ones during the cruise ship season.”

Service providers at the Cruise Village will be expected to follow specific guidelines. These include registering with Tourism Seychelles for identification badges and maintaining the designated areas in the car park. Francis also mentioned that while the regulations are currently in place, they are open to revision based on feedback after the season’s first ship docks at Port Victoria.

The meeting also saw participation from the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), the police, and the Seychelles Licensing Authority (SLA). They addressed queries from service providers and emphasized the importance of adhering to the new regulations. Non-compliance could lead to various penalties, including warnings, license suspensions, or even denial of access to the Cruise Ship Village.

Local service providers expressed optimism about the new measures. Alvin Jean-Bonnelame from Sunset Chasers remarked on the potential for improved order at the port. Similarly, taxi driver Desmond Revera voiced his hope that these measures would enhance the value of services offered to cruise ship visitors.

The SH Diana will be the inaugural ship to dock at Port Victoria for the season on October 24. With the cruise ship industry being a significant contributor to Seychelles’ tourism, the nation welcomed 40 cruise ship calls in 2023. The upcoming season is expected to match this number, with the MSS Splendida, spanning 333.3 meters, being the largest vessel.

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