Empty ships at sea abound – Namport offers parking space – at a fee
The Namibian Ports Authority’s acting Chief Executive, Kavin Harry this week assured the public that there is nothing sinister going on when they see large cruise liners anchored in or near the port. It is part of a service offered to cruise ship companies to park their vessels while maritime leisure travel is at a standstill due to lockdowns across the world.
“The cruise liners will join 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 anchorage at the port of Walvis Bay,” Harry said in a statement released on Wednesday by the ports authority.
“Whereas this is unfortunate, the turn of events however presents an opportunity to the Namibian Ports Authority to provide berthing or parking space for the empty cruise ships off our ports at designated points of anchorage,” he said adding that multitudes of cruise liners which carry tourists across destinations around the world are now idle and seek parking space.
“ Having conducted detailed reviews of procedures to be put in place in hosting these ships, we have concluded that the move would neither contradict nor contravene any of the existing measures implemented nationally to prevent the spread of Covid-19. All existing mitigation measures by the Ministry of Health and Social Services and Namport will be complied with strictly when dealing with such passenger vessels at anchorage.”
“We therefore kindly request the public not to panic when they see these vessels anchored either in or off the ports of Lüderitz and Walvis Bay,” he concluded.