The construction of the Sh350 million world-class cruise ship terminal at the Port of Mombasa is set to be completed in August next year.
Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary (CS) Najib Balala, said the completion of the cruise ship terminal will be in time for the cruise season in November.
The completion of the modern facility is expected to give tourism a huge boost as more cruise ships dock at the port.
Mr Balala said Kenya is increasingly becoming attractive to cruise ships, revealing MS Nautica operated by Oceania Cruises will arrive at the port on December 24, with about 700 visitors.
“We have seen good interest by cruise liners attracted to Mombasa port,” the CS said on Friday when he was checking the progress of the cruise ship terminal.
The CS was accompanied by the Kenya Ports Authority’s Chairman Gen (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana and its Managing Director Daniel Manduku.
The terminal is being constructed with a Sh250 million funding from KPA and Sh100 million from Trade Mark East Africa.
Kenya has been eyeing cruise tourism growth after the segment improved significantly in the last two years with thousands of visitors arriving in the country by sea.
When completed, the terminal will have arrival and departure areas for passengers. The facility will also have a lounge for passengers, an immigration office, reception counters for cruise operators, restaurants and souvenir shops.
Cruise tourism is a lucrative market for Kenya with visitors arriving by sea being high-end holidaymakers.
Kaskazi beach hotel, sales and marketing general manager Daniel Ogechi said the terminal would boost cruise tourism industry in the country.
“The cruise ship is good for the hospitality business. We will get many international tourists and attract big ships. We should create awareness on cruise ship tourism so that Kenyans can tap into that business,” he said.
The works on cruise terminal, which began in December 2016, involve the modernisation of an old building at the port’s berth number 1. The terminal will have arrival and departure areas for passengers coming through the sea at the Port of Mombasa.
The facility will also have a lounge for passengers, an immigration office, reception counters for cruise operators, restaurants and souvenir shops.
Cruise tourists will enjoy facilities just like those offered at the international airports.