A new homeporting hub for cruise ships in the Vanilla Islands

Mauritius Port Authority has invested in a new cruise terminal to ensure it becomes the first choice for cruise operators wanting to sail immersive itineraries in the Indian Ocean

A new homeporting hub for cruise ships in the Vanilla Islands
Mauritius is a popular port of call for cruise ships thanks to its year-round sunshine, abundance of shore excursion opportunities and well-equipped passenger terminal

Surrounded by white-sand beaches and soaring cliffs, Mauritius is a popular holiday destination for tourists worldwide and is fast becoming the hub for both homeporting and transit cruise calls in the Indian Ocean’s Vanilla Islands. The island boasts a diverse history influenced by Africa, China, Europe, India and the Middle East, enabling it to cater to cruise lines aiming to offer innovative itineraries that showcase a mix of cultures and authentic and immersive onshore experiences.   

Cruise visitors can choose from a plethora of excursions to popular attractions, such as the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, the newly opened Odysseo oceanarium, Charamel’s Seven Coloured Earth Geopark, the 19th-century Citadelle (also known as Fort Adelaide), the Marie Reine de la Paix monument, and the high-end boutiques, restaurants and entertainment venues on Le Caudan Waterfront. Alternatively, they can take a boat trip to the Ile aux Cerfs off the east coast, relax on one of the island’s white-sand beaches, immerse themselves in the local culture at the Central Market in capital Port Louis, or learn about Mauritius’s history at the Natural History Museum, the Photography Museum or the Blue Penny Museum. And, thanks to the island’s small size, cruise visitors can quickly travel between different attractions, allowing them to enjoy multiple excursions and tours while onshore.  

Part of the appeal of Mauritius as a cruise destination is its well-equipped port, which is operated by Mauritius Port Authority (MPA). Currently, the port can accommodate both homeporting and transit calls from vessels of various sizes, at either its dedicated 125-metre-long cruise jetty or its multipurpose terminal. Typically, homeporting ships are between 250 and 300 metres in length and carry 1,800 to 2,200 passengers, while vessels making transit calls as part of their around-the-world itineraries are up to 345 metres long.  

In addition, MPA is constructing a 7,500-square-metre terminal that will accommodate up to 4,000 passengers. Scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2022, the terminal will have facilities to ensure quick, safe and seamless embarkation and disembarkation processes for both cruise guests and passenger traffic from inter-island ferry services. It will also offer hospitality venues, easy access to onshore tourism amenities and parking spaces for 120 vehicles.  

The new terminal, combined with the island’s year-round sunshine, friendly locals, cultural diversity, varied cuisine and natural beauty, make Mauritius an ideal port of call on around-the-world itineraries and voyages from the Indian Ocean’s Vanilla Islands.

This article was first published in the 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. 

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
12 January 2022

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