Seychelles' Port Victoria has won the Indian Ocean's Leading Cruise Port title for the ninth time at the 2021 edition of the World Travel Awards, the Ports Authority said on Tuesday.
The Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA) said that "retaining this title is testimony to the commitment, hard work and close collaboration and coordination of the authority with other esteemed stakeholders."
The World Travel Award recognises the very best travel organisations in the world through a global vote by travel professionals since it was established in 1993.
The results of the 27th edition follow a year-long search for the world's top travel, tourism and hospitality brands. Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.
Meanwhile, after the removal of a moratorium that was imposed on cruise ship calls, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Port Victoria is due to welcome its first cruise ship for the 2021-2022 season as of November 18. The return of cruise ships is expected to further boost the recovery of the tourism industry, the top economic pillar of the island nation in the western Indian Ocean.
The Ports Authority in collaboration with all local partners is finalising a port protocol to ideally handle all the scheduled cruise ship calls under the guidance of the Public Health Authority.
MS Island Sky operated by London-based Noble Caledonia will open the season with calls to four of Seychelles' outer islands - Aldabra, Assumption, Farquhar and Cosmoledo.
The relatively small cruise ship with a carrying capacity of 118 passengers will be the first vessel to sail to Seychelles since the closure of the destination to cruise ships in March 2020.
Port Victoria recorded 39 cruise ship calls during the 2019/2020 season, with a total of 63,442 passengers. The last vessel to call before the season was forced to close prematurely was the Bougainville, operated by the Compagnie Du Ponant, on March 11 last year.