Port of PE kicks off cruise season

2017-11-15 06:01
< Captain Faisal Sultan (TNPA Acting Port Manager) welcomed the MS Albatros and its captain Robert Fronenbroek, with Jonathan Lawack (Speaker of Council, representing the Executive Mayor).   Photo:SUPPLIED

< Captain Faisal Sultan (TNPA Acting Port Manager) welcomed the MS Albatros and its captain Robert Fronenbroek, with Jonathan Lawack (Speaker of Council, representing the Executive Mayor). Photo:SUPPLIED

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THE Port of Port Elizabeth’s 2017/18 cruise season kicked off on Monday with the arrival of the port’s first international cruise liner of the season.

Phoenix Reisen’s Albatros sailed into port carrying 830 European and South African passengers and 340 crew members. The 28,518-ton, 812-passenger cruise ship built in 1973, sails between popular destinations in Europe (Mediterranean and Baltic Sea), Asia and South Africa. She will also call at Mossel Bay, Cape Town, East London, Durban and Richards Bay.

Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port Manager for the Port of PE, Rajesh Dana, said the port is scheduled to receive altogether 20 calls by 11 different cruise liners this season between November 2017 and April 2018. Dana said passenger liner tourism was aligned with TNPA’s vision of opening the port to people. These calls have grown from 18 in the previous season to 20 this season.

“The cruise season provides a big boost for Nelson Mandela Bay’s economy, allowing tourists on stopovers to access tourism, leisure and wildlife experiences in and around our Metro. We’re delighted that PE continues to receive its fair share of cruise ships as more cruise line companies show confidence in our city, alongside TNPA’s usual stimulus home ports of Durban and Cape Town,” he said.

Highlights to look forward to this season include return calls to PE by Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth, two of the most popular and largest cruise ships to visit South Africa. Other cruise vessels scheduled to visit PE are Nautica, Crystal Symphony, Silver Spirit, Boudicca, MS Europa 2, Insignia, Seabourn Sojourn and Le Lyrial.

More than 20 luxury cruise ships operated by 17 international cruise lines are expected to call at South Africa’s six ports during the 2017/18 cruise season.

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