WHEN the MV Boudicca arrived in the port of Walvis Bay early on Sunday morning the vessel was welcomed by a fanfare of water jets and ship’s horns created by tugboats of the Namibian Ports Authority because it moored at the new cruise liner jetty that was especially constructed to receive disembarking passengers.
The cruise liner jetty also known as Berth Nine was built along with the new container terminal that was inaugurated at the end of July this year.
The new container terminal came into operation at the end of August. The MV Boudicca’s arrival and mooring at the jetty marked to official commissioning of the new facility in the port that is aimed to boost tourism in the Erongo Region.
The cruise liner jetty was built to cater for disembarking passengers near the south gate of the port and would later integrate with the waterfront development phase of the port.
The ease with which tourism operators that took the disembarking passengers on day tours in the Namib Desert and coastal towns and curio vendors slotted in with the positioning of the new cruise liner jetty quickly became evident as busses started rolling out of the port premises minutes after the passengers were processed by Namibian customs officials.
Once finished the new waterfront development that would include the Walvis Bay Yacht Club and new marina will see the seamless transfer of passengers from cruise ship to land to participate in the huge variety of tourism activities on offer at the coast.
The MV Boudicca is currently on 168 day cruise across the globe. The ship that was built in 1973 left the shores of Britain on 4 October. The ship named after an ancient English warrior queen arrived in Walvis Bay from the island of St Helena.
Her next port of call is Lüderitz and from there she would continue to Cape Town and other ports of South Africa before crossing the Indian Ocean to ultimately sail around Australia and eventually back to Britain through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy during the Second World War the Boudicca’s exterior hull has been decorated with The Royal British Legion’s red poppy insignia, most notably on the bow, stern and deckhouse.
During March this year the ship sailed on a special cruise from the iconic White Cliffs of Dover to the coast of Normandy in France with 300 D-Day veterans on board who attended a series of commemorative events in both England and France, to commemorate the battles fought on the five beaches of ‘Gold’, ‘Sword’, ‘Juno’, ‘Omaha’ and ‘Utah’, on 6th June 1944.
Although not as big as the mega liners that have moored in Walvis Bay in the past, the vessel offers classic luxury to 900 passengers on board.
The MV Boudicca departed for Lüderitz late on Sunday afternoon and was the second of six cruise liners still scheduled to visit the port until the end of this year.