The Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC, Alan Winde welcomed the Queen Mary 2 on Thursday as it docked in Cape Town harbour. In coming weeks, other cruise ships, including, Silver Cloud, Amadea, Sun Princess, Silver Cloud, World Odyssey, Le Lyrial, Silver Explorer, Astor, Queen Elizabeth and MSC Sinfonia, are all due to berth in Cape Town.
The Queen Mary 2, with a maximum capacity of 3,090 passengers and 1,238 crew, and running at about 90% occupancy, arrived in the city on Thursday for a one-day stopover before continuing on to Port Elizabeth and then Mauritius.
According to the department, in the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 cruise season, over 100,000 tourists travelled via ship to Cape Town.
At the end of 2015, Transnet National Ports Authority announced the V&A Waterfront as the preferred bidder of the Terminal Operator agreement for a period of 20 years.
"There has been significant investment into Cape Town's Cruise Terminal," Winde said. "Initial upgrades, including baggage handling services, and reception and waiting areas, have dramatically improved our capacity to process cruise liner passengers.
"The V&A Waterfront have committed R50 million in the first two phases of its upgrades to the terminal, and they are ensuring this is a year-around world-class facility. Through our Project Khulisa growth strategy, we have prioritised growing the size of our tourism sector. Cruise tourism delivers significant economic benefits to our province," said Winde.