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Opening of cruise season brings optimism and economic growth to SA’s port cities

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) opened its 2023/24 cruise liner season, with 175 confirmed vessel call-ins bringing an estimated 166,933 passengers to South African port cities through its commercial seaports.

The opening of this year’s cruise season is marked by the arrival of Vasco da Gama’s maiden voyage at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal – voted Africa’s Leading Cruise Port in the 2023 World Travel Awards.

Speaking at the opening of the cruise season, TNPA Managing Executive for Western Region Ports, Advocate Phyllis Difeto said: “Our ports are at the heart of driving economic growth
and social sustainability, acting as gateways for international trade. At the core of our
readiness for this year’s cruise season is to ensure that our port infrastructure is reliable and efficient to handle passenger vessels of any size.”

In six of South Africa’s commercial seaports, TNPA will sail and dock approximately 175
scheduled vessel calls with 59 call-ins planned for Cape Town, 33 for Durban, 28 for Port
Elizabeth, 25 for Richards Bay, 22 for Mossel Bay, and 8 for East London.

“As we start this season, together with our public and private sector partners, Cruise Cape
Town – powered by Wesgro – is committed to continuing its cruise development efforts in the region. Building on the success of the previous season, which injected an estimated R1.2 billion into the Western Cape economy alone, the team is dedicated to facilitating continued sustainable growth, as we anticipate even greater achievements in the seasons to come,” said Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro CEO and Official Spokesperson for Cruise Cape Town.

TNPA anticipates that as the season progresses, more vessels will be confirmed.

“The city is experiencing a rapid tourism recovery and it is the collective efforts of all the
stakeholders in tourism promotion, products, and services that have continued to bear fruit, repeatedly placing Cape Town as a global destination of choice for travellers and creating opportunities for the sector. As a manager of Africa’s best cruise terminal, the Waterfront, as always, is ready to give a warm welcome to cruise operators and visitors coming through our doors to enjoy the best of what South Africa has to offer,” said David Green, CEO of V&A Waterfront.

TNPA’s collaborative efforts with stakeholders in growing the cruise economy further promotes South Africa as a destination of choice for cruise passengers.

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