Rwanda’s ‘floating hotel’ may start bookings in August
The Kivu Queen Uburanga luxury houseboat, Rwanda’s “floating hotel” is expected to be fully operational and possibly start taking bookings in August, according to Mantis, a French company that will be managing the facility.
“We anticipate that August will be the official month to start full operations, weather permitting and certain production elements to be finalised. Our aim is to offer the best in services and standards, with a unique product aimed at the high end of the market,” Emile Muller, Operations Manager Mantis, told The New Times.
The ship was recently launched into the water as part of the preparations to make it operational. Though it has not been fully lake-tested yet, many of its systems have, such as electricity, generators, plumbing, jacuzzi, lighting, and sewage schemes.
More tests are expected to follow, including commissioning the propulsion and a series of lake trials to ensure the ship will pass its design criteria in terms of handling, buoyancy, steering, safety procedures, crew training, hospitality training, etc.
According to Mantis, the ship’s service itinerary will include sailing the beautiful Lake Kivu from north to south and vice versa, in addition to a variety of activities, including water sports.
Among its features are 11 modern cabins, a swimming pool, a dining salon, a bar, and a viewing deck with a hot tub, allowing travellers to explore some of Rwanda’s most desirable locations in luxury.
The upper deck is designed so that it is possible to be booked separately from the rest of the boat with two VIP staterooms, a third cabin, a separate lounge, a small service kitchen, a guest toilet, and a private expansive aft (rear) deck.
When booked by dignitaries, this level can be secured separately and maintain privacy with even the forward (front) Jacuzzi being reserved for the exclusive use of the VIP suites.
The ship is expected to remain exclusively within the waters of Rwanda and has no direct role in cross-border trade apart from guests who may cross the border from DR Congo.
It is anticipated that the facility will open the southern part of the Western Province to travellers as almost all guests will board the ship by way of Rwanda.