President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that SA is moving to adjusted alert level 1 means cruise tourism to the country can resume.
The first cruise ship is scheduled to dock at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal in the V&A Waterfront on 18 November and a further 36 ships are expected between November 2021 and May 2022, according to a statement by Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for the Western Cape.
Labeeqah Schuurman, spokesperson for the Cruise Cape Town initiative, says there is a hunger for cruises to resume. International cruises have already been operating globally under very strict health protocols.
"It's been a long wait, and we're pleased that we will be able to have a cruise season start this year. We're excited and ready to welcome back international guests and crews to Cape Town and to pick up where we left off in growing this sector of our tourism," says David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront.
According to Alderman James Vos, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, in the last few years before the pandemic the city's cruise industry witnessed significant growth year-on-year. In 2012, 6 050 passengers arrived on cruise ships to the Mother City and by the 2018/19 season, this figure reached 52 580.
Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier, adds that the reopening of cruise tourism is one of several barriers that need to be urgently removed to ensure a successful summer season and provide much-needed relief for the tourism and hospitality sector.