East London port’s popularity continues to grow

MAYBE NEXT TIME: The MV Artania would have been the longest cruise ship to dock in the Port of East London, but heavy winds prevented that from happening

The Port of East London’s popularity continues to grow, with the last season proving to be a record-breaker for South Africa’s only river port.

The most recent season saw 14 cruise liners make calls, the most in any single season in the port’s history.

According to Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), this was mainly due to German cruise line AIDAmira, which visited the port for the first time in December last year.

Monday January 20 was supposed to see yet another record broken at the port with the docking of the Phoenix Reisen cruise line’s 230m long MV Artania, the longest cruise ship to ever enter.

However, gale-force winds in Cape Town forced the ship to change its itinerary and it sailed straight to Durban without making a stop-over.

EL port manager Sharon Sijako attributed the increased popularity of the port to the number of tourist attractions nearby, including private game parks, golf clubs, and the city’s famous beaches.

“It has been our great pleasure to welcome AIDAmira to East London as the latest in a growing list of cruise vessels that continue to endorse our city’s tourism potential,” said Sijako.

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