One of Africa’s most visited tourist attractions, Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is South Africa’s oldest working harbor and it will become the site of a new, world-class luxury cruise terminal.
V&A Waterfront was the preferred bidder for an estimated 179-million rand ($14.6 million US) investment to upgrade the city’s cruise terminal, according to a report in Traveller24.
South Africa’s cruise season runs from October to April. All international cruise liners have to dock at the Port of Cape Town as their first port of call, according to South Africa’s Immigration Act of 2011.
Cruise ships bring about 10,000 visitors to Cape Town each year, generating around 200 million for the local economy, Traveller24 reports.
Cruise passenger volumes have doubled globally in the last 10 years. South Africa accounts for just 0.6 percent of overall passenger activity.
In 2012 Transnet announced a multi-billion-rand plan to build a dedicated cruise liner terminal in Cape Town but there were problems. One of the issues was that the Department of Home Affairs had banned cruise liners longer than 200 meters from berthing at the Waterfront.
Transnet is a large South African rail, port and pipeline company formed in 1990 that is majority owned by the South African government.
The cruise terminal will remain at E Berth in Duncan docks, Traveller24 reports. E Berth, or Jetty 2, is within walking distance of the V&A Waterfront, according to WhatsInPort. Taxis, shuttles and hop-on-hop-off buses stop there.
But the V&A Waterfront investment will open up access to one of the most scenic ports in the world, set against the dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain, according to Traveller24. There are tons of hotels near the V&A, along with a host of tours and tourist activities.
Once completed, the new terminal will accommodate the port’s current and future passenger vessel fleet. The upgraded facility will also house retail and hospitality services.
“The upgraded Cape Town cruise terminal facility to be developed by V&A Waterfront will be a gateway to a unique African experience in cruise tourism,” said TNPA Richard Vallihu, CEO of Transnet National Ports Authority. “The city will benefit from a world-class facility that will attract greater international cruise liner calls, create jobs and strengthen the tourism offering of not only the Mother City, but South Africa as a whole.”
Cruise liner tourism is one of the fastest growing areas of tourism, according to V&A Waterfront CEO David Green. “This award is an opportunity to positively contribute to the economy and job creation and to provide a positive experience for all visitors,” Green said in a TourismUpdate report. “The cruise terminal … is important due to the first impression it will create of Cape Town.”