Everyone's cruising over to Cape Town with over 17k people disembarking so far this cruise season

2019-01-29 06:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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Cruise season is docking at peak heights in Cape Town, despite the Mother City's Cape Doctor.

In January alone, 17 stops have been made at the city's port, and between October and 20 January, a total of 17 518 people have disembarked in the city from vessels carrying 6562 crew members. Over 17 500 people have embarked on ships in the same period.

PICS: RMS Queen Elizabeth and MSC Musica usher in booming wave of cruise tourism into SA

Some of the luxury liners to have visited the city's shores include the gigantic RMS Queen Elizabeth and MSC Musica, as well as the World Odyssey, the Europa 2, the Seven Seas Explorer, the Nautica and the Amadea. 

Other still to pay a visit to the Mother City include the Queen Victoria, the Silver Cloud, the Pacific Princess and the Viking Sun.

The increased numbers are in part due to the opening of the dedicated cruise ship terminal at V&A Waterfront, and expect 30 vessels making 49 stops for the 2019/2020 season and 32 vessels with 67 stops confirmed for the 2020/2021 season.

Minister of Economic Opportunities in the Western Cape, Beverley Schäfer, is extremely positive about the potential this industry has for the province's tourism numbers, with 30 million expected to cruise somewhere in the world in 2019, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

“As a province, our aim, through Project Khulisa has been to grow tourism as a vehicle to stimulate the economy and create new jobs, and cruise ship tourism is helping us to do this. The Western Cape tourism industry currently sustains over 300 000 direct and indirect jobs, and by increasing the number of cruise liners visiting Cape Town, we can create further opportunities for work and skills development,” says Schäfer.

“The Waterfront has reported that they’re starting to see people flying into Cape Town specifically to board cruises. This in turn adds value to our other tourism offerings, as these guests often book hotel stays and make use of other tourism facilities while they are in the city. Similarly, some vessels are doing crew changeovers in the city, meaning that the inbound and outbound crew members also make use of hotels and other facilities while in the city.”

ALSO SEE: Cruise dos and don'ts: Man banned for life after video of him jumping off 11th floor of cruise ship goes viral 

The cruise industry has been undeniably picking up steam over the last few years as it has grown from a humble 6 050 passengers in 2012 to a massive 31 035 passengers in 2017.

It has been calculated that the average spend by an international tourist per trip is around R8 400 in-destination (while in Cape Town), and a R10 600 of prepaid spend - aka before a traveller arrives on Cape shores.

The domestic average spend per trip is R1 280.

Figures from Cape Town Tourism have found and indicated that the projected value of the cruise tourism industry between 2017 and 2027 is estimated to be in the region of R220 billion.

Cruise ships carrying around 2 000 passengers result in spending to the value of R2 million per day.

READ: What you should know about cruising with MSC Musica in SA 

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