Namport secures deal to have cruise liners stay longer in Namibia

The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) has secured a deal with several cruise liners to have passengers stay longer in the country once they have docked at the two ports of Walvis Bay and Lderitz.

Namport’s Executive for Commercial Services Elias Mwenyo during a tourism stakeholder engagement on safety and operation of the sector on Tuesday, said six passenger ships will be overnighting at the Port of Walvis Bay, come the new season commencing in October.

Previously, the vessels would only spend a day before leaving the port for the next destination.

According to Mwenyo, this will ensure that passengers spend more time in the towns as well as neighbouring towns, as a result injecting more into the country’s economy.

‘We are expecting 44 more cruise liners, which is an indication that we are not just a stopover but are moving in the direction of becoming a destination for these tourists. We have heard the cries of the tour operators and from the port’s side, we have directly been engaging with passenger v
essel owners and informed them that stopovers are not really what we want but would like for tourists to stay longer and maybe even travel to other towns for activities,’ Mwenyo expressed.

He urged the Namibians to also integrate the culture of cruise liner tourism, try to get onto the vessels and experience what happens on the cruises and not just be the receivers every time.

Namport together with the tourism agencies in the town, he said will create opportunities for Namibians to have access to the cruise ships so that they can experience them.

‘Through the engagements with cruise line owners, we have also discussed job creation opportunities and we are therefore working very hard to get our young people to acquire employment on these vessels, as it is very rare to find Namibians working on these kinds of liners.’

Erongo Regional Tourism Forum member Kenneth Kapitako added that the cruise industry is important in the quieter tourism sector and has the potential to benefit the informal sector in the Eron
go Region and the country at large.

Kapitako noted that the forum has engaged and is currently engaging the relevant stakeholders in ensuring that Erongo and the rest of the country become a destination of choice for travellers.

Source: Namibia Press Agency