Drop in Cruise Ships, Tourists Fail to Deter Cruise Facilitator
“We continue to better our services every year and we are hoping for the best in 2020 for an improvement in numbers of cruise vessels and tourists coming to Fiji.”
The country’s largest cruise line facilitator Kenua Fiji has recorded a drop in cruise ships and tourist arrivals in the first half of 2019. Kenua Fiji facilitates 90 per cent of cruise ships that come into the country while the other ten per cent is shared among Williams and Gosling and Swire Shipping companies. According to Kenua Fiji Manager Leone Naivalu, the company recorded a total of 52, 632 visitors including crew members the first six months of 2019. However, in 2018 they had recorded a total of 74, 178
visitors and crew members from 30 cruise ships in the first six months. “For this year, the numbers are from the 20 cruise ships that we represent from January to June,” Mr Naivalu said
“We had recorded a total of 37,430 passengers and 15,202 crew members in the first six months, this year, from January to June,” he said.
“This is a very significant drop from the figures that we had recorded in the same period last year.” Mr Naivalu said the drop was due to a number of factors which include berthing bookings and adverse weather conditions in the country.
“As alluded earlier this was mainly due to change in itinerary and also repositioning of the bigger cruise ships to the Asian region.
“Another contributing factor to this drop would be the sudden adverse weather conditions which had led to few ports of call cancellations due to numerous heavy swells.”
He said despite the drop-in the number of cruise vessels in the first half of this year, they will continue to render the same services to cruise tourists in making their port experience a memorable one. “The drop in the number of cruise vessels this year has not stopped us from delivering the services that we render out to our visitors,” he said. “We continue to better our services every year and we are hoping for the best in 2020 for an improvement in numbers of cruise vessels and tourists coming to Fiji.”
He added that they were expecting another 16 cruise ships under their watch in the remainder of the year calling into respective ports.
“The different ports of call for our cruise vessels are Suva, Lautoka, Savusavu, Dravuni and Port Denarau.
“Suva and Port Denarau are the major ports that we have recorded to be gaining a lot in terms of financial growth with regards to tourist spendings.”
MSC Magnifica berthed at Suva’s Kings Wharf on its maiden voyage to Fiji on March 8, 2019. Photo: Inoke Rabonu