Yesterday the Namibian Ports Authority rolled out its red carpet to 3100 guests who disembarked from the MSC Orchestra that was docked at the Port’s passenger berth 9 for its maiden voyage. The holiday makers who embarked on a 6 days cruise from Cape Town to Walvis Bay and returning to South Africa conveyed how happy and impressed they were with the welcoming spirit displayed by the Namport staff members who were stationed at the welcoming table.
The 293.8 meter long ship, weighing 92 409 tons was packed to capacity according to Mr Ross Volk, Managing Director of MSC, South Africa speaking during a presentation on-board the vessel. He further said that Namibia should be ready to host more of the MSC vessels as Namibia is fast developing into a favourable tourism hub. “From next season we will have 2 vessels based in Southern Africa, one catering for the east coast and the other for the west coast. So, instead of us only having 2 – 3 calls in Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, we will increase the number of calls to 22 from Cape Town”.
Welcoming the delegation, Namport’s Port Captain, Lukas Kufuna said that “Namibia is strategically positioned and with the services of the newly built passenger jetty, Namport as the country’s ports authority is working at ensuring that all vessels enjoy a safe passage in the Namibian waters and that all visitors are given the opportunity of appreciating the offerings that Namibia has to give”.
Namport has so far received over 4500 passengers since the beginning of this year from passenger vessels that have docked at the Port and expects to welcome 5 more passenger vessels in the remaining month of January. The MSC Orchestra, is expected to once again call at the Port of Walvis Bay next week and again in the month of April this year.
The MSC Orchestra is part of the fleet of luxury cruise liners from the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) operating on a global scale and has cruises from South African ports to Namibia on a regular basis.