The Star (Nairobi)

22 January 2013

Kenya: Hundreds of Cruise Tourists to Land in Lamu

KENYA is set to receive a tourism boost after hundreds of cruise tourists dock in Lamu this weekend. This will be the first time ever for a cruise vessel to dock in Lamu, since most of them have been docking at the port of Mombasa.

Details of the vessel, MS Astor were scanty but the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) confirmed that its officials will be at hand to receive the tourists, before the vessel sets sail again.

According to a public relations officer at KTB, Cynthia Kinyaru, the cruise ship, built in 1987, is from Germany. "For now all we know is that it will dock in Lamu at 6am on Saturday 26th and KTB has to be there to welcome the visitors," she said.

According to information from the website, the cruise ship was constructed for 65million dollars, and has on 28 November 2008, undergone an attempted pirate attack in the Gulf of Oman, but was saved by the German frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Details of the number of tourists expected were to be confirmed later. The voyage comes days after another 636 tourists and 400 crew members from 15 European countries aboard docked at the port, onboard MV Nautica weeks ago.

The tourists were drawn from the United Kingdom, Brazil, USA, France, Romania, Australia, South Africa and China. Earlier on, two cruise ships, MV Deutschland, a German flag cruise ship, arrived in Mombasa on December 24 last year. Cruise tourism is set to be revamped, after reports that piracy has reduced, across the region.

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