South Africa cruise tourism to resume in November, 37 cruise ships expected

Oct 12, 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that South Africa is moving to adjusted alert level 1 meaning that 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  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. 

“The reopening of cruise tourism is something we called for as 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, which has been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. And so, we welcome the announcement and urge President Ramaphosa to consider easing further restrictions where it is safe to do so, such as allowing spectators at major sporting events. Our economic recovery is dependent on the recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector and so we will continue to do everything we can to support the sector to reopen safely so that we can save jobs in the Western Cape," said Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier.

During 2019 alone, there were approximately 30 million passengers which helped generate $72 billion in direct cruise sector revenue at destinations around the globe. This revenue also includes the direct expenditures of the cruise lines for goods and services in support of their cruise operations.

"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.

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.