The announcement that a dedicated cruise liner dock is to be created in the Cape Town Port is welcome news for the Cape tourism industry, which is suffering badly from two shocking winters in a row, and a general downward slide in business since 2008.
The Cape Argus has reported that new Port Manager Sipho Nzuza has announced that E Berth in the Cape Town harbour will become a ‘dedicated dock for visiting cruise liners’. In addition, ‘suitable infrastructure’ is to be developed for the disembarkation of passengers. Earlier this year the cruise liner industry, and the V&A Waterfront with it, was dealt a major blow when the Department of Home Affairs forbade all cruise liners from docking inside the V&A Waterfront, forcing visiting cruise liners to use the unsuitable and dangerous Duncan Dock, creating a poor impression for Cape Town, and forcing many cruise companies to cut Cape Town out of their cruise itineraries, or to reduce their two day stay to a one day one. The first welcome sign of an improvement in the cruise liner situation was when tenders for developing a cruise liner terminal in the port were called in May.
In 2011 nineteen cruise liners brought 18000 visitors to Cape Town. The planned developments at E Berth have led to an estimate that cruise liner tourists will increase by 10 – 20 % per annum, it is reported.
It is hoped that work on the development of the new E Berth cruise liner terminal will be completed speedily, so that the lucrative cruise liner business can be welcomed to Cape Town with open arms!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage