Catherine Vinman, a German tourist has been longing to visit Mombasa and Zanzibar for years.
Freshly off a cruise ship that docked at the port of Mombasa on Sunday, she termed her visit to the city a dream come true, saying it was her first trip to Kenya.
“I only knew of Zanzibar and Mombasa from movies and pictures. Zanzibar is so beautiful and Mombasa is very exciting to see. Just from the seeing the harbor, I really like the city, “she said.
Catherine is one of the 800 passengers onboard MS Albatros, which is operated by the German based travel agency Phoenix Reisen.
The chartered ocean liner stopped for a 15 hours stay in Mombasa from Zanzibar.
MS Albatros, the first cruise ship to dock at the port this season, called at the port at 6 am with the passengers and 346 crew members.
A majority of the holidaymakers were from Germany, Australia, South Africa, Thailand, Switzerland, Canada, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Russia.
The visitors departed in the evening for Seychelles.
On the Mombasa sightseeing tour, the tourists got a chance to visit historical sites among them Fort Jesus.
The bus has on board tour guides with a number of stop overs in and out of Mombasa CBD.
The German tourist looked forward to the Mombasa city tour; a chance to learn more about the local culture and landscape.
She would also film a documentary aired on German television with an aim to show local cultures in the countries they stop in.
“It is not about the touristic things you can do but experiencing the way of life of the people, then the audience can get the vibe and feel of the country. We did a lot of research before the trips. The documentary we are shooting for is for a programme that has been on television for 10 years and has a great viewership.”
“Our camera team is travelling in cruise ships of this kind for the audience to experience how to work on the ship, how life on the ship is and also showcase all the harbors that we are visiting,” said Catherine.
MS Albatros is on an 86-day voyage from Bremerhaven in Germany before concluding the tour in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
According to cruisemapper, she departed Bremerhaven on September 27 and is scheduled to arrive in Monte Carlo on December 22.
Her earlier port calls were were Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London then she sailed to Durban and Richards Bay. After a few days, it sailed to Mozambique and Zanzibar.
MS Albatros features two restaurants and six bars, a pool, spa, gym and casino. It also has a beauty salon, sauna and steam bath.
The ship was built in 1973 by Wärtsilä Helsinki New Shipyard, Finland for Royal Viking Line as Royal Viking Sea, and has also sailed under the names Royal Odyssey, Norwegian Star, and Crow.
She has eight passenger decks and a total of 420 cabins.
When not viewing the ocean waves, guests can kill time teeing on the golf garden, playing table tennis, scoring on a shuffleboard, on the Sport deck, whirlpool and swimming pool.
One can also walk on the all-around promenade or while time at the movie theater.
German is the only language that is officially used on board, a reason why most Phoenix Reisen cruise passengers are from German-speaking countries. There are personnel speaking English, but no services in English are provided.
MS Albatros is one of the small-sized World Cruise ships operating once per year on around the world itineraries to ports in Asia and Africa.
More cruise ships are expected to call at the port before December. The port’s cruising season runs September through March.
Another ship expected to visit next year is Seabourn Sojourn, which has the biggest spa ever created on a luxury cruise ship.