Terror: Blow to tourism sector as cruise ship with 1000 tourists skip Mombasa

The tourism sector suffered a blow at the weekend as 1,000 tourists that were scheduled to arrive in Mombasa cancelled the tour citing insecurity.

Ms Nautica, operated by US-based Oceania Cruises, was scheduled to call at the port of Mombasa with some 648 passengers and 400 crew members on Sunday.
Yesterday, sources at the port confirmed that the arrival was cancelled last minute amid heightened security over possible terror attack at the Coast.
The US embassy issued an advisory to foreigners on Monday, urging them to remain vigilant of a possible attack at the Coast and other parts of the country.

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“They will skip the call because of recent terror attack in Nairobi,” said Nixon Kilonzo, an official of Inchcape Shipping Service, the vessels’ local handling agency. He said the cancellation was communicated last minute “taking us by surprise”. Next voyage

Mr Kilonzo said the vessel owner had not indicated whether Mombasa would be in their itinerary in the next voyage.

A source at the port said most of the tourists on board were Americans.

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But Kilonzi said most of the guests were from European countries that had secretly issued travel advisories. Through its Twitter account, the US embassy said: “Credible information indicates Westerners may be targeted by extremists in Nairobi, Naivasha, Nanyuki, and coastal areas of Kenya”.

Yesterday, Mombasa Police Commander Johnstone Ipara said he could not comment about the security situation in the city.

“Let the police spokesman handle that one,” he said. 

The decision by the tourists in the Ms Nautica to skip Mombasa and the USA warning come in the wake of heightened security awareness after the recent 14 Riverside Drive complex attack that left 21 people dead.

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tourismMs Nautica