DURBAN - The Africa & Indian Ocean gala awards ceremony took place at Sugar Beach, Mauritius, where Durban won in three categories - Leading City Destination, Leading Meetings and Conference Destination and Leading Cruise Port.
The Port of Durban previously held the title from 2010 to 2013 before losing it to Cape Town in 2014 and then to Mombasa from 2015 to 2017.
Acting Durban Port Manager, Nokuzola Nkowane said, "We’re thrilled to have retained this respected title and we must thank South Africans for so eagerly making cruise voyages a part of their lifestyle. Our thanks also go the cruise line operators that continue to show such confidence in our port by including it on their itineraries, often with multiple vessels calling to our sunny shores".
"Finally, we express our gratitude to all the players in the local tourism sector who offer shore excursions and cultural experiences to make the city of Durban such an attractive tourism destination, ensuring our continued appeal to domestic and international tourists alike," added Nkowane.
The Port of Durban’s 2018/19 cruise season show passenger figures as having increased by 29.4% over the previous year, according to TNPA’s recently released data.
TNPA processed 255 422 passenger embarkations and disembarkations at the port, up from the 197 382 recorded in 2017/18. The port enjoyed 63 calls by 16 different cruise vessels.
To develop the port’s cruise sector facilities even further, the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) consortium was awarded a 25-year concession to develop a new cruise terminal and is presently finalising the detailed design ahead of an anticipated commissioning date of 2020.
Durban is presently used as a home port by MSC Cruises, which will introduce its MSC ORCHESTRA vessel on the route in the 2019/20 season, following success with MSC SINFONIA and MSC MUSICA over the last few years.
Nkowane also congratulated Silversea Cruises, which was named Africa’s Leading Cruise Line 2019. The company has become a regular to local cruise ports, usually with two or three vessels sailing locally per cruise season, including Silver Discoverer, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit and Silver Cloud.
South African entities scooped more than 25 categories at the awards ceremony including:
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