COSTA CRUISES ANNOUNCE RETURN TO THE INDIAN OCEAN
(Posted 28th May 2014)
Costa Cruises announced their return in early 2015 to the Indian Ocean islands with a new itinerary and a new cruise liner, the Costa Neoclassica, which will reportedly be based in the region to offer cruises between the Vanilla islands and the African mainland.
The announcement was made in Mauritius during a joint workshop also attended by ports authority personnel from the Seychelles, Reunion and Madagascar all of which will be beneficiaries of port calls by the new routing, allowing passengers to take island excursions to sample the scenery, history, culture and cuisine of the different islands.
The first indication of this development came during the Berlin ITB 2014 when the tourism ministers of the Vanilla Islands met and were briefed by their Mauritius counterpart, only to be followed up now with concrete planning for 2015 and beyond. Other international cruise lines are also expected to resume itineraries which can according to information received commence at one of the South African Indian Ocean ports and then make their way calling on the islands, the East African mainland before ending in the Seychelles from where the routing then reverses.
Cruise ships traversing this part of the Indian Ocean now carry security personnel to ensure safe passage, an initiative promoted by the Seychelles and now by and large followed by cargo ships and cruise ships alike. Cruise tourism is known to inject major amounts of cash into the local economies during port calls when passengers pay for their land excursions, the purchase of souvenirs and frequenting local restaurants and other services available on land.