SA Cruise News

Durban to earn R18-million per month during coming cruise season

Tourism officials in Durban, the homeport for MSC Cruises for the South African cruise season, say the regular turnaround calls by MSC Orchestra during the coming cruise season will add more than R100-million to the local economy.

More than 30,000 cruise passengers will board MSC Orchestra in Durban between now and the end of December, according to eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications Unit, Mandla Nsele.

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They will spend a combined total of around R18-million on car rentals, accommodation and retail in the city, while their total contribution to the South African GDP will amount to more than R190-million when the cost of the cruise and transport to the port is taken into account as well.

Durban is also set to benefit from Cape Town’s booming cruise sector, with more cruise ships than ever before homeporting in the Mother City during the coming cruise season, which runs from November to March annually.

Some 17 cruise ships will make 86 port calls in Durban during the year, including  AIDAmira, the new cruise ship for AIDA Cruises, that will homeport in Cape Town for the first time for a full cruise season.

She will return for the 2020/21 cruise season as well, along with TUI’s Mein Schiff Herz, also a newcomer to the South African cruise scene.

AIDAmira will visit Durban several dozen times during her coming SA cruise season out of Cape Town

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Several other cruise lines, such as Azamara and Oceana, will also be cruising roundtrip from Cape Town during the 2019/2020 cruise season, with Durban as a weekly port of call on each itinerary.

While MSC Cruises primarily targets the local South African source market for its Durban cruises, the Cape Town cruise lines will be selling to international tourists booking fly-cruise deals.

International cruise tourists, numbering around 30,000 for the coming cruise season, inject more money per person into the local economy of the ports they visit, according to officials.

The average international cruise tourist in South Africa spends around R1,000 during a day visit, almost twice that of a South African cruise passenger.

South African cruise passengers, numbering more than 200,000, contribute more to the economy overall, however, and the number is only expected to grow as MSC Cruises prepares to homeport even more cruise ships in the country next year.

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