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Port of Durban’s cruise prospects promising

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The Port of Durban’s The 2018/19 cruise season figures paint a promising picture for the future of the local cruise sector, with passenger figures up by 29.4% over the previous year TPNA The Port of Durban’s The 2018/19 cruise season figures paint a promising picture for the future of the local cruise sector, with passenger figures up by 29.4% over the previous year
Passenger figures up by 29.4%
 
May 30, 2019 
 
Staff Reporter 
 
Durban, South Africa: The Port of Durban’s 2018/19 cruise season figures paint a promising picture for the future of the local cruise sector, with passenger figures up by 29.4% over the previous year, according to data released by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA).
 
TNPA processed 255 422 passenger embarkations and disembarkations at the port, up from the 197 382 recorded in 2017/18. During the cruise season, which typically runs from late October to late April, the port enjoyed 63 calls by 16 different cruise vessels.
 
Acting Port Manager, Nokuzola Nkowane, said, “Our growth is largely due to MSC Cruises, which uses the Port of Durban as a home port. MSC Cruises had the larger MSC Musica offering her first cruises locally last season. She made 42 calls to the Port of Durban, representing the lion’s share of total embarkations and disembarkations recorded. However, we are proud to have also welcomed 12 other world-class operators to the port last season.”
 
Nkowane said TNPA and MSC Cruises’ investment into the Port of Durban was aimed at attracting more cruise line companies to Durban and indeed Southern Africa as a whole. Cruise liner itineraries are planned at least two years in advance and exciting local excursions are big drawcards, as are new cruise vessels promising a different experience, in addition to suitable port infrastructure.
 
Part of MSC Cruises success is keeping their offering fresh. Next season they will be introducing yet another of their vessels - the MSC Orchestra – enticing cruise tourists to return for their next adventure.
“The cruise industry is the fastest growing category in the leisure travel market, and with a projection of one million passengers by 2025, TNPA’s decision to build a dedicated cruise terminal in the port is well supported,” she said.
 
The KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) consortium, in which MSC is a partner, holds a 25-year port concession from TNPA to finance, construct, operate, maintain and transfer a new Cruise Terminal Facility in the Port of Durban at an estimated value of more than R200 million. KCT is presently finalising the detailed design of the Cruise Terminal Building and the anticipated commissioning of the project is 2020.
 
Nkowane said the Port of Durban would be working with partners to maintain its status as ‘Africa’s Leading Cruise Port’, as awarded at the 2018 World Travel Awards Africa and Indian Ocean segment. The port is a finalist again this year, with the winners set to be announced on Saturday, 1 June.
 
The 16 cruise vessels and 13 cruise line companies that included the Port of Durban on their 2018/19 itinerary were:
Aidaaura - Aida Cruises
Amadea - Phoenix Reisen
Crystal Serenity – Crystal Cruises 
Europa - Hapag-Lloyd Cruises 
Europa 2 Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
Le Lyrial - PONANT
Musica – MSC Cruises 
Nautica - Oceania Cruises
Pacific Princess – Princess Cruise Line
Saga Pearl II - Saga Cruises 
Seabourn Sojourn - Seabourn Cruise Line
Seven Seas Explorer - Regent Seven Seas Cruises 
Silver Discoverer - Silversea Cruises
Silver Whisper - Silversea Cruises 
The World – privately owned residential ship 
Viking Sun – Viking Cruises
  
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