SA Cruise News

Queen Elizabeth welcomed in Cape Town as Cunard Line reaffirms commitment to SA cruises

Queen Elizabeth made her second call of the year in Cape Town Tuesday as she prepares to embark on her 24-night cruise from South Africa to Australia.

The Cunard cruise ship arrived alongside at the V&A Waterfront’s Cape Town Cruise Terminal on Tuesday and stayed overnight.

She is mid-way through her 49-night Grand Voyage from Southampton to Melbourne, but as Cruise Arabia & Africa previously reported, she is also using Cape Town as a turnaround port.

Queen Elizabeth alongside in Cape Town

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Queen Elizabeth previously called in Cape Town in January, and in April this year the city was also used a turnaround port by Queen Victoria.

The double call by Queen Elizabeth and the cruise departure offered by Queen Victoria mark the first time ever that SA has been treated to three Cunard calls in a single year.

The Cunard Line flagship, the world’s largest ocean liner (not cruise ship) is expected to call in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban in late March to early April, 2020.

Like her fleetmates, Queen Mary 2 will use Cape Town as a turnaround port.

“Cape Town is fast becoming known as the ‘turnaround’ port for both inbound and outbound international arrivals and departures, and we aim to build on this success,” says Andre Blaine, Executive Manager, Marine & Industrial, V&A Waterfront. “Our objective is to become the number one port in Southern Africa for cruise liner business.”

Passengers disembark at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront cruise terminal (picture is from January this year when MSC Musica was in port as well)

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An increasing number of South African cruise passengers are also using the opportunity to take cruises further afield, according to Cunard Line.

“South Africa is a very mature source market where Cunard has established itself as a recognised cruise brand with a loyal following,” Bob Dixon, Director, Carnival/Cunard, EMEA, Asia and Latin America told Cruise Arabia & Africa.

“Cunard has been trading there for more than 30 years, and while South African passengers would initially join the ship in Cape Town as she sailed her world cruise itinerary, we are now seeing an emerging market in people choosing 7 to 14-night European itineraries,” he added.

Cunard’s reputation for bringing the glamour of cruising alive makes it a popular choice among cruise passengers seeking the golden age of ocean travel.

With her Art Deco interiors, Queen Elizabeth is the most similar to her namesake, the QE2 (now a floating hotel in Dubai), while Queen Victoria offers a more traditionally luxurious experience.

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