Cruise liner MSC Poesia docks with 2,500 passengers

THE Indian Ocean Islands of Zanzibar last week received a timely boost in the tourism sector after a luxury cruise liner MSC Poesia from the Mediterranean Shipping Company, docked at the port of Malindi with 2,500 passengers on board. 

The Italian vessel which is the first of its kind to dock in the islands for 2024 had 1,000 crew members on board, 20 of whom were Kenyans.

With an overall length of 294 metres, MSC Poesia is one of the biggest cruise vessels to have docked at the port.

To be able to add value and support Cruise Tourism, Zanzibar is investing in the requisite infrastructure, including the state-of-the-art cruise terminal to cement Zanzibar’s status as a hub not only in cargo operations but also cruise tourism in Africa.

The stopover at Malindi port is part of the liner’s 112-night world cruise around the world in a journey which began in Barcelona, Spain on January 7 and is expected to end on April 28.

The tour is expected to enrich the country’s tourism sector which generates 30 percent of Zanzibar’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to data from the Office of Chief Government Statistician (OCGS), Zanzibar saw the number of international arrivals increase to 638,498, up from 548,503 visitors in 2022.

After a brief stay in Zanzibar, the ship departed for Kenya, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Madagascar and Seychelles.

A spot check by Zanzibar Mail, revealed that the cost per trip for the cruise is Sh36 million per person.

The cruise liner has state-of-the-art features including 16 decks, 13 of which are accessible to passengers.

It also offers 16 lounges, three swimming pools, eight jacuzzis and 20 elevators.

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