South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Wednesday address the inauguration of the Nelson Mandela cruise terminal in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, the Presidency confirmed.
The Nelson Mandela cruise terminal was designed and built by the Mediterranean Cruise Company (MSC) SA and the Africa Armada Consortium, who will also operate the terminal through its partnership with government.
Around R330 million was spent to build the new cruise terminal which could see Durban growing as a cruise ship destination, and according to the government, domestic experts were employed on the project.
“The company’s vision for the terminal was a modern and tech-savvy facility that would provide a seamless experience for guests. The multi-user terminal has made Durban an even more desirable destination for cruise ships from all over the world,” the Presidency said.
“Seventy percent of procurement relating to the terminal has been sourced in South Africa. In addition, all consultants and experts are South African, including architects, engineers, attorneys, and the construction company.”
According to Statista, the value of the South African cruise industry has been on an upward trajectory, with an annual growth rate of 7.60% between 2023-2027.
The value of the domestic cruise market is expected to hit around US $40 million by 2027.
“Despite potential economic fluctuations, the cruise market is expected to continue expanding, driven by its allure and the industry's commitment to constant innovation and diversification,” a Statista report said.
“Providers are increasingly exploring new destinations and experiences to fuel demand and extend their market reach.”
South Africa’s only other cruise ship destination, Cape Town, at the V&A Waterfront, has experienced a buzz around its cruise terminals since the pandemic travel restrictions eased across the globe.
Around 75 cruise ships docked in Cape Town last year, local media reported.
In 2022, the Cape Town cruise terminal was named the best in Africa.