Tourism Update reports that Transnet has finally decided to go ahead with the construction of the permanent cruise liner terminal, which will feature an arrival and departure facility with restrooms – the dedicated facilities could encourage more international cruise liner operators to include Cape Town on their itineraries but the process can take up to two years to complete.
Passengers on board the MSC Sinfonia, recently stranded in the Port of Cape Town due to strong winds, complained about two-hour delays when boarding. Allan Foggitt, Marketing Director, Starlight Cruise said, “It was the first call of the ship in the Port of Cape Town for the season. We were using the facilities provided to us by Portnet and there were a few teething problems – certainly from the immigration side but it’s a work in progress. Portnet have managed to overcome a lot of hiccups that we found this time round, for instance the baggage carrousel wasn’t working. All things are being discussed with Portnet and we’re looking how we can streamline this process.
There has been a subsequent increase in vessels calling at Duncan Dock’s E-Berth, according to Coen Birkenstock, Manager: Corporate Affairs, Port of Cape Town. The Deutschland, MSC Sinfonia, Europa, Hanseatic and Black Watch are all expected to dock in Cape Town in December.
Passengers disembark through a temporary arrival hall at E-Berth, which is currently being refurbished. Birkenstock describes the area as clean and habitable but not ideal due to the overhaul taking place – this is expected to be completed in February. The Port of Cape Town will, however, be ready for cruise passengers this summer peak season, he says.
Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism,said: “We’ve been informed by cruise liner operators that the E-Berth facility has been improved significantly and that they’re satisfied with the interim facilities.” He adds however that it would be ideal if smaller cruise liners were allowed to dock at the Waterfront.