The archipelago will welcome cruise ships for the first time since March 2020
Launching the 2021-22 cruise season on 14 November 2021, will be Island Sky, the first cruise vessel to sail to Seychelles since the closure of the destination to cruise ships in March 2020. The archipelago will only be welcoming smaller vessels with a maximum of 300 passengers, to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.
Department of Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine principal secretary Alan Renaud said: “Throughout 2020, working in collaboration with the health authorities, tourism department, the port authority and the tourism industry, the department has implemented new procedures for the safe resumption of cruise ship to the Seychelles.”
To facilitate the restart of cruise ship operations, the Department of Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine has developed a Covid-19 cruise ship checklist for operators along with a parallel Covid-19 Port Management Plan for the authorities to be introduced next month.
Renaud added: “The documents outline the respective responsibilities of local agencies and the cruise ships in relation to Covid-19, identification of critical resources and personnel, the passenger and terminal arrangements at all ports of call, the contingencies in case of a Covid-19 outbreak, the protection of communities visited by the ship, and the coordination between cruises and ports in relation to Covid-19.”
Island Sky, operated by London-based Noble Caledonia, is a small cruise ship with a capacity of 118 passengers. It will be calling at four of the Seychelles’ outer islands: Aldabra, Assomption, Farquhar and Cosmoledo.
The authorities will also be rolling out a maritime version of the present travel authorisation system, which will be adapted to cruise ships and yachts, serving simultaneously as a health protection system, as well as an enhanced border control system for incoming vessels.
The maritime edition will be integrated with the ships’ systems and make it a seamless, paperless, touch-less process for both embarking and disembarking guests and the ships themselves.
Tourism Seychelles principal secretary Sherin Francis said: “The reopening of the cruise ship season is another milestone for our destination. I am happy that all relevant actors have ensured that due precautions have been taken to facilitate this exercise in a safe manner.”
Island Sky will be followed by other small cruise ships throughout the season.
For more information, visit www.noble-caledonia.co.uk