Coast tourism upbeat as second cruise ship arrives

Tourism got a boost after another luxury cruise ship docked at Mombasa port Tuesday with more than 1,000 tourists and crew.

It was the first time for MS Insignia, which is operated by Oceania Cruises, to arrive in Mombasa from Seychelles with 668 passengers and 400 crew.

Last Friday, MS Nautica, which is also operated by Oceania Cruises, arrived in Mombasa with 1,070 tourists and crew. Following the arrival of MS Insignia Tuesday, the cruise tourist figure rose to 2,500. Last year, the figure stood at 900.

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Most of the holidaymakers were from the US, while others came from the UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, Norway and South Africa.

Some tourists travelled to the Tsavo East and West national parks, the Amboseli and Shimba Hills game reserves, and the Mwalughanje Elephant Sanctuary. Others enjoyed a tour of Mombasa’s Old Town, Fort Jesus, Haller Park and the Bombolulu Workshop and Cultural Centre.

Bird enthusiasts visited the Arabuko Sokoke Forest in Kilifi County. The forest is home to 270 bird species.

Mr Ole Kristian Jorgensen, a Norwegian tourist, said he was over the moon for visiting Mombasa for the second time. He said 20 years ago, he toured the port city for a one-week holiday.

“At the moment, it’s extremely cold in Norway. I am glad to be in Mombasa to enjoy the warm weather,” said Mr Jorgensen, who was in the company of his wife Sigrun.

“I am surprised that Mombasa has tremendously developed compared to when I arrived here for the first time,” he added.