After years of lobbying by government officials and the private sector, TransNet has given the go-ahead for construction of Cape Town’s first dedicated cruise ship terminal.
This comes on the back of growing demand for cruise tours across South Africa. The cruise liner industry is one of the world’s fastest-growing tourism sectors due to it being both affordable and adaptable to changing market needs. Cape Town has largely benefited from this, with 19 cruise liners visiting its shores in 2011, bringing with them over 11 000 passengers and additional staff. This led to increased tourism revenue and the creation of jobs.
The city is, however, largely unable to satisfactorily accommodate cruise ships due to a lack of official facilities. Earlier this year, the Department of Home Affairs controversially banned the berthing of cruise ships of over 200m at the city’s famed V&A Waterfront, citing security concerns. Instead, ships have since had to dock at Duncan Dock in the Port of Cape Town. With no cruise terminal, passengers experience long waiting periods to board and disembark ships, and an unsightly/inefficient loading area, among other issues. This has perhaps prevented additional cruise companies from operating out of the city.
That is all set to change, however, with the construction of a new dedicated cruise terminal in the city within the next two years. Due to be constructed at berth E, the cruise terminal will comprise modern baggage-handling facilities, customs facilities, as well as ablutions and other amenities present in cruise terminals the world over. The spin-offs from this are set to benefit everything from the tourism sector to the property sector. An increase in tourists arriving to the city as a result of an efficient on-ground cruise experience will no doubt create higher demand for retail property and other properties within the area. Already the V&A Waterfront is placing much focus on improving the Clocktower area with construction of No 1 Silo and many other planned developments. The cruise terminal would be located close to the Clocktower precinct, which could end up linking well with the V&A Waterfront and the greater city as a whole, creating a new development corridor.
These are exciting times for the cruise industry. Keep visiting our blog as we will be sure to post any renderings and updates on construction of this property that has the potential to unlock many benefits.