Namport passenger service entry yields benefit

New business opportunity identified
Namport's foray into cruise line handling is proving to be a worthwhile strategy.
Ogone Tlhage
The Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) says a decision to build a passenger jetty to facilitate the transit of passengers to and from cruise liners has proved successful, and can make for increased business opportunities for the entity.
The new passenger jetty forms part of Namport's new container terminal, built on 40 hectares of reclaimed land. “One of the low-hanging fruits is to facilitate passenger travel. When we built the new container terminal, we took a deliberate decision to also capacitate the port with a cruise liner jetty to be able to play in the space of cruise liner tourism,” Namport executive for commercial services Elias Mwenyo said.
The entry into the passenger liner market has now proven successful for Namport, he said.
“That has paid off. We have started off. In a season, we will do around 26 calls. This season that ended, we did 56 vessel calls. We have seen taxi drivers being converted to tour operators; it’s been able to contribute significantly,” Mwenyo said.

Guaranteeing unforgettable experiences
The port of Walvis Bay had earlier this year played host to the Queen Mary 2 cruise vessel as well as the Silver Spirit and the AIDAsol.
“These notable occurrences demonstrate our unwavering dedication to catering to the maritime community and guaranteeing unforgettable experiences for both travellers and crew, solidifying our position as a prime destination for cruise passengers,” he added.
Touching on Namport’s overall operating environment, Mwenyo said Namibia’s population was not sufficient enough to sustain its operations, highlighting the need for increased business with its southern African neighbours.
“Namibia alone is not able to sustain the port. The infrastructure is capital intensive, and we are only three million people, so we are looking beyond the three million people."