Last Sunday, the Port of Mombasa welcomed the MV Norwegian Dawn, carrying a record-breaking 2,300 passengers from a whopping 54 nationalities! But that’s not all – over 1,000 crew members from 51 countries sailed in, bringing diverse cultures to our shores. Fresh off their Seychelles getaway, these lucky travellers hope to enjoy the pristine coastal beaches and the lush national parks.

Remember last December when the MV Bollete brought over 900 passengers to our shores? Well, get ready for more! Rumours abound of another vessel after, MV Norwegian Dawn, that may dock in Mombasa later next month. So what impact will the arrival of the largest cruise ship at Mombasa’s port have on Kenya’s tourism?

The Kenya Annual Tourism Sector Performance Report, 2022, by the Tourism Research Institute, revealed eight factors influencing international arrivals. According to the report, the reasons for travel to Kenya are primarily for holidays (36.63%), visiting family or friends (27.85%), business and MICE (27.24%), transit (5.01%), education (1.4%), religion (0.85%), medical (0.77%), and sports (0.22%). The report also stated that each tourist spends an average of KES 180,688 on their holiday in Kenya. Therefore, the arrival of the Norwegian Dawn could bring a potential KES 416 million in revenue to the industry.

The Norwegian Dawn was built in 2002 as the third ship in the Norwegian fleet. It was designed to accommodate the line’s Freestyle Cruising concept, meaning there are many choices for restaurants, bars, and entertainment. The ship, refurbished in 2021, can carry up to 2,340 passengers, who are all spoilt for choice. For instance, you can choose from 11 different restaurants at dinner time.