On November 1 the Port of East London welcomed the first cruise liner to the city, marking the official launch of the 2022/23 cruise season.
The port welcomed the first passenger vessel MS Europa 2, which is one of 20 cruise liners arriving and departing throughout the season until December 2023.
The Transnet National Ports Authority says this is an excellent opportunity to witness growth in the tourism sector.
“While from a revenue perspective the port does derive significant income, the spin-off for day visitors to various attractions and tours generates much income and employment for the tourism hospitality industry. Passengers embark on day trips to enjoy the many local attractions including game trips, local cultural experiences, and cuisine, golf, cycling, visit local craft breweries and pubs, historical sites, etc,” said port manager Sphiwe Mthembu.
Transnet Port Authority has made commitments to invest in the port as they have acknowledged the vital role that the port plays in boosting the city’s economy.
“The port has been working with tour operators and agents to ensure maximum activities are identified and made available and on offer to passengers.
“The port is investing R4,3bn towards developing its infrastructure and the aim is to place the port in a world-class standard. This means that the port will be able to accommodate bigger vessels, including cruise ships which will mean a boost in the city’s economy,” said Mthembu.