Cape Town to be an im­por­tant port of call

Chris Hunoldt re­ports that plenty of cruise ships are headed for Cape Town in the com­ing months

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

OVER the next 16 months or so, Cape Town will have no less than 42 cruise ship ar­rivals, with about 17 ves­sels in­volved, ex­clud­ing those based here for the 2010 Soc­cer World Cup and the MSC Sin­fo­nia do­ing lo­cal voy­ages out of Dur­ban.

The first ship to visit Cape Town this sea­son, was the Tahi­tian Princess last month en route from the United King­dom to Sin­ga­pore.

Be­sides the MSC Sin­fo­nia, the only other cruise ship that will be op­er­at­ing a se­ries of lo­cal cruises is the ul­tra­lux­ury small cruise ves­sel the Sil­ver Wind. This ves­sel, of 17 400 tons, car­ries a max­i­mum of 298 guests looked af­ter by a crew of 212.

The Sil­ver Wind is an all-in­clu­sive ship, mean­ing all bev­er­ages and on­board gratuities are in­cluded. The Sil­ver Wind will of­fer a se­lec­tion of three round-trip cruises from Cape Town, a cruise from Mau­ri­tius to Cape Town and from Cape Town to Las Pal­mas dur­ing her Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary sea­son.

There will be a visit by the stun­ning Seven Seas Voy­ager, en route from Mum­bai and arriving in Cape Town on Novem­ber 20, vis­it­ing the Mother City for two nights be­fore set­ting off on a 13-night voy­age to Rio de Janeiro.

The Seven Seas Voy­ager is also an all-in­clu­sive, ul­tra­lux­ury ship, which in­cludes all shore ex­cur­sions at her ports of call – as do all cruises with Re­gent Seven Seas Cruises.

Hol­land Amer­ica’s ship, the Am­s­ter­dam will visit dur­ing Jan­uary on a 47-day cruise from Fort Laud­erdale around South Amer­ica to Cape Town then con­tin­u­ing to Sin­ga­pore.

Crys­tal Cruises’ beau­ti­ful ship Crys­tal Seren­ity will visit dur­ing Fe­bru­ary, arriving on a 14-day cruise from Rio de Janeiro and car­ry­ing on with a 21-day cruise to Mum­bai.

Voy­ages of Dis­cov­ery’s ship Dis­cov­ery will visit Cape Town in March, com­ing in from Hong Kong and con­tin­u­ing to Mom­basa and Europe.

March and April 2010 see an­other visit by Seven Seas Voy­ager, one by P&O’s Aurora, as well as Cu­nard’s grand ship the Queen Mary 2 and Fred Olsens’ Bal­moral.

Many may re­mem­ber the Bal­moral as Ori­ent Line’s Crown Odyssey, now with an ex­ten­sion to her hull and com­pletely re­fur­bished.

Princess Cruises’ small 680-passenger ship, the Ocean Princess, will visit dur­ing May, en route from Sin­ga­pore to Dover.

June through to Septem­ber will be quiet be­sides the ar­rival of Hol­land Amer­ica’s two ships, con­tracted for the 2010 Soc­cer World Cup, and the grand old lady, the QE2, which may be docked in Cape Town har­bour as a float­ing ho­tel for the event.

Ocean Princess will visit again in Novem­ber, fol­lowed by the Seven Seas Mariner on a 25-day voy­age from Dubai, be­fore con­tin­u­ing on a 14-day cruise to Rio de Janeiro.

Ocea­nia Cruises will be vis­it­ing Cape Town for the first time with their ship the Nau­tica, on a 30-night voy­age from Is­tan­bul fol­lowed by a 35-night cruise from Cape Town to Sin­ga­pore.

So far the 2011 sea­son sees the Queen Mary 2 and Pa­cific Princess vis­it­ing dur­ing Fe­bru­ary and April re­spec­tively. There are sure to be a num­ber of other ships pass­ing by as soon as the cruise lines fi­nalise their 2010 and 2011 north­ern hemi­sphere win­ter itin­er­ar­ies and 2011 world cruises.

All th­ese cruises of­fer great op­por­tu­ni­ties for South Africans to cruise to and from Cape Town which is fast be­com­ing an im­por­tant port of call for cruise ships be­cause it of­fers such a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for pas­sen­gers to ex­pe­ri­ence one of the great cities of the world, and many of the ships plan a visit of at least two days.

❐ See the Cruises-for-Africa and Fred Olsen ad­ver­tise­ments on this page for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion and con­tact de­tails.

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