Namibia eyes cashing in on idle cruise liners affected by the COVID-19 travel ban

Namibia is set to cash in on idle cruise liners following the collapse of cruise tourism worldwide due to restrictions on travel as countries battle the further spread of COVID-19.

Namibia Port Authority (Namport) acting CEO Kavin Harry said in a statement Friday that a golden opportunity has presented itself after cruise liner companies approached the port authority with an urgent request to dry-stack idle passenger ships taking up costly mooring space in other ports around the globe.

Harry said travel restrictions have invariably impacted the cruise tourism industry as tourists have stopped travelling.

“Consequently, multitudes of cruise liner ships which are used to ferry tourists to and from destinations around the world are now idling and seeking parking space,” he said.

The Namport executive said while the situation is unfortunate for the cruise ship industry, it had presented an opportunity for Namibia to provide berthing and parking space for the empty cruise ships.

According to Harry, the cruise ships will join at least six offshore supply vessels and oil rigs which, as a result of the fall in oil prices, have also been recalled from the oil fields and are being safely stored at the anchorage at the port of Walvis Bay, Namibia.