The Dodi Island has the cruise boat described by many in Ghana as the water bus or taxi where the voyage itself and the boats amenities are an important part of the experience.In the past the marine vessel Dodi Princess was a cargo vessel called Grains Maid. It was built at the Tema Shipyard in 1977. The marine vessel Dodi Princess was used primarily to carry dry cargo especially fertilizer from Akosombo to Yeji and Buipe in the Northern part of Ghana and in return carry yam and grains down south.
The vessel enjoyed great patronage until the late 1980’s when it started facing serious financial setbacks hindering its smooth operation. As a result, it was abandoned and docked at the Akosombo port. In 1991, under the tutelage and ingenuity by the then Head of State of the Republic of Ghana, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, a German engineer named Hans Heins was given consent to convert the hull of the vessel to a tour pleasure boat. This was done in conjunction with some staff of the Maritime Services Unit of the Volta River Authority and commissioned in 1991 and renamed Dodi Princess.
The maiden voyage of the Dodi Princess was arranged to coincide with the celebration of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) conference which was hosted in Ghana in 1991. The vessel, since then became a tour facility available to the General Public on weekends and public holidays like Independence Day, Easter, among others for pleasure related activities. It was managed by Marine Division of the Volta River Authority.
In 2005, the Volta River Authority transferred the Dodi Princess to Akosombo Hotels Limited (Volta Hotel) for the latter to own and manage as part of its assets since tour business was one of its primary businesses. The hotel therefore took over the management of the Dodi Princess and made its first cruise to the Dodi Island on July 1, 2005.
Key Features Dodi Island
The Dodi Princess has three decks. The first deck is a fully air conditioned cocktail bar selling alcoholic and no-alcoholic beverages including; wines, spirits, beer, soda, bottled water and juice. It is strictly a non-smoking area reserved for guests/persons who wants to stay away from the music and have time for some introspection whiles they enjoy their favourite beverages.
The other two decks are mainly airy areas full of activities. Guests are treated to live band music and other fun filled activities to sustain the excitements as they cruise on the second largest man-made lake in the world with the best opportunity for sightseeing. The staffs on board are very friendly and highly trained to provide for guests comfort and satisfaction.
The Dodi princess cruises on the Volta Lake to the Dodi Island. The cruise distance is approximately 27 kilometres which takes about two hours to the island and leaves on weekends and republic holidays. The huge Volta Lake is sandwiched between Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Central, Greater Accra and the Eastern and Volta Regions. The Volta Lake covers an area of 8502 km2 and which stretches over 400km in length.
The man-made lake extends from the Akosombo Dam in south eastern Ghana to the town of Yapei, 520 kilometres (325miles) to the North. The lake generates electricity, provides inland transportation and is a valuable resource for irrigation and inland fisheries.
About nine (9) rivers join the lake before it enters the sea at Ada, as it trickles down south. These rivers are theWhite Volta, the Black Volta, river Afram, river Sene, river Dayi, river Dwiia, river Pru, river Oti and river Obosom.
A local traditional group waits to welcome visitors with a traditional cultural dance, agbadza from the Volta Region. The primary occupation of the local people is fishing. Other side attractions travelling to the Dodi Island include the following; Akosombo Dam Presidential chalet, the Akosombo port, the tilapia farm, Dwarfs Island, Snippets of the Kwahu mountains
The uniqueness of the Dodi Island is their attention to security and safety Aboard Dodi Princess. The Dodi Princess is insured with the State Insurance Company. It has enough life rafts, lifebuoys and life guards on board to ensure that it cruises are safe and secured. Navigation services, technical and maintenance services on board are handled by competent and certified personnel from the Marine Division of the Volta River Authority.
On board fees are Gh45₵ for adults and Gh₵35 for children.
How to get there
Getting to Akoosombo is fairly easy. There are buses at all STC and bus stations in Accra.