Dedicated Cape Town Cruise Liner Terminal Gets The Green Light
Transnet has finally decided to go ahead with the construction of a permanent cruise liner terminal, which will feature an arrival and departure facility with restrooms. In May this year it called for submissions of interest in the funding, construction and operation of a terminal, and early next year it will commence with a ‘Request for Proposals’ process to attract private investment and identify a suitable operator. “This process could take up to two years to finalise,” says Birkenstock.
Asked whether it might be difficult for elderly passengers to walk the distance to the Waterfront from the new terminal, Birkenstock says transport to other Western Cape venues will be undertaken by tour operators. He believes E-Berth is the best place for a cruise liner terminal in the Cape Town Harbour and that a purpose-built terminal with dedicated facilities will possibly encourage more international cruise liner operators to include Cape Town on their itineraries.
Meantime, passengers disembark through a temporary arrival hall at E-Berth, which is currently being refurbished and should be completed by February. Birkenstock describes the area as clean and habitable but not ideal due to the overhaul taking place. The Port of Cape Town will, however, be ready for cruise passengers this summer peak season, he says. The Deutschland, MSC Sinfonia, Europa, Hanseatic and Black Watch are all expected to dock in Cape Town in December.
Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, comments: “We’ve been informed by cruise liner operators that the E-Berth facility has been improved significantly and that they’re satisfied with the interim facilities.” He adds however that it would be ideal if smaller cruise liners were allowed to dock at the Waterfront.