Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa, will be reopening its shores to cruise ships starting from November.
As per the decision taken by the country’s authorities in March 2021 relating to the size of the vessels and limiting their carrying passenger capacity, Seychelles will only be welcoming smaller vessels with a maximum of 300 passengers, according to a statement from the authorities.
Launching the 2021-2022 cruise season on November 14, 2021, will be the MS Island Sky, the first cruise vessel to sail to Seychelles since the closure of the destination to cruise ships in March 2020.
The principal secretary for civil aviation, ports & marine, 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 visits to Seychelles.”
He said that to facilitate the restart of cruise ship operations, the Department of Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine has developed a Covid-19 company and cruise ship checklist for operators, and a parallel Covid-19 Port Management Plan for the authorities to be introduced next month.
The complementary documents have been based on guidance published jointly by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention Control (ECDC) and endorsed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and adopt a goal-based approach, identifying measures to be taken on board ships and ashore to ensure safe operations.