Ricochet News

Queen Elizabeth closes the 2017/18 Cruise Season

Apr 23, 2018
Queen Elizabeth closes the 2017/18 Cruise Season

The Queen Elizabeth officially closes the 2017/18 cruise season with her visit to the Port of Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

This is five months after the MS Albatros officially opened the cruise season with her call to the city.

Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port Manager for the Port of PE, Rajesh Dana, said the port received altogether 20 calls by 11 different cruise liners this season. Dana said passenger liner tourism was aligned with TNPA’s vision of opening the port to people. These calls have grown from 18 in the previous season to 20 this season.

“The cruise season provides a big boost for Nelson Mandela Bay’s economy, allowing tourists on stopovers to access tourism, leisure and wildlife experiences in and around our Metro. We’re delighted that PE continues to receive its fair share of cruise ships as more cruise line companies show confidence in our city, alongside TNPA’s usual stimulus home ports of Durban and Cape Town,” he said.

Entertainment has been arranged to welcome the vessel and her passengers. A traditional dance group will perform when they disembark to go on various tours and tourism destinations. The captain and crew will be welcomed by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism executives on-board the vessel, where gifts will be exchanged.

Pilot Andrew Kerfox, aged 39, one of TNPA’s highly skilled and qualified pilots brought the vessel in early this morning. He previously worked in the Port of Richard’s Bay where he also obtained an open license. He has previously docked the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria in the Port of Port Elizabeth.

Said Pilot Kerfox, “Docking these vessels is quite challenging because of the sheer size of it.  However, the competence of the Master and crew of the vessel, together with the vessel’s manoeuvrability, makes the Pilot’s job easier.”

One of the highlights of this cruise season was the visit of the Queen Mary 2 on 29 January this year. She is the biggest passenger vessel that has visited the port with an overall length of 345m and gross tonnage of 149215.

The Queen Elizabeth has left Port Louis (Mauritius) for Port Elizabeth and will be visiting the Port of Cape Town when she leaves PE. Caption Inger Klein Thorhauge is in charge of this beautiful vessel and she has 1 866 passengers and 938 crew on board. The Queen Elizabeth arrived at 05:30 this morning and she will leave the port at 21:00 tonight.  

More than 20 luxury cruise ships operated by 17 international cruise lines are expected to call at South Africa’s six ports during the 2017/18 cruise season.