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Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)

 2019 is the year for smooth sailing one of the many popular Cruise routes around – with Cape Town firmly a popular stop for many of them. 

Mid-January saw the RMS Queen Elizabeth and MSC Musica luxury cruise liners docked in at the Cape Town Harbour. 


Over the last few years alone, The Mother City’s harbour has welcomed numerous vessels and cruise ships to its shores and the Queen Elizabeth cruise liner is no stranger with its 2 068 passengers and 996 crew members.

Neither is the MSC Musica with its 1 268 passenger cabins, able to comfortable accommodate 1 550 passengers, and its 990 crew members.

Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Assets Management, said that the Mother City is quickly becoming a preferred port for inbound and outbound international cruise travellers to SA.

The cruise industry has been undeniably picking up steam over the last few years as it has grown from a humble 6 0 50 passengers in 2012 to a massive 31 035 passengers in 2017.

hese numbers and the increasing regularity of cruise ships docking Cape Town is expected to boost our local tourism industry exponentially.

“For every 12 tourists visiting our shores, one job is created. We will continue to invest in tourism programmes and projects that drive demand and make business sense, as tourism sustains about 150 000 jobs in Cape Town,” said Alderman Vos.

Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)

It has been calculated that the average spend by an international tourist per trip is around R8 400 in-destination (while in Cape Town), and a R10 600 of prepaid spend – aka before a traveller arrives on Cape shores.

The domestic average spend per trip is R1 280 and can be broken down as follows by purpose of travel:

  • R2 780 for business purposes
  • R2 290 for holiday visitors
  • R1 740 on medical expenses
  • R890 when visiting friends and relatives

Figures from Cape Town Tourism have found and indicated that the projected value of the cruise tourism industry between 2017 and 2027 is estimated to be in the region of a ridiculous amount of R220 billion.

Cruise ships carrying around 2 000 passengers result in spending to the value of R2 million per day.

Economic benefits are also likely to arise from a number of other sources related to the cruise liners coming through. 

Other sources of economic benefits could stem from the shore-side staffing by cruise liners for tour operations, the spending by cruise liners for goods and services necessary for cruise operations, and the spending for port services and maintenance.

“Based on the number of confirmed bookings for the 2019/20 cruise season, we can already see a dramatic increase in the number of vessels due to visit our port and city,” added Vos. 

Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship Deck pool being refilled on Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)