A bumper, record-shattering 2022/23 cruise season in Cape Town gives locals working in the travel industry some good news to celebrate.
Cruise Records Broken in Cape Town and the Western Cape
Cape Town and the Western Cape marked a record-breaking cruise tourism season defined by wealthier source markets, with the USA, Germany, and the UK leading the pack.
Approximately 145,000 passengers and 42,000 crew members arrived in the region last season. The 2022/2023 season had 75 ships and 41 turnaround visits between October 2022 and May 2023,
During the 2019/2020 timeframe, the last complete season saw only 39 ship visits and around 42,000 passengers, which is why the increased number of vessels visiting Cape Town during their voyages in 2022/23 is worth applauding.
“The success of the past Cape Town cruise season speaks to the untapped potential held by this lucrative tourism sector, significantly boosting visitor numbers to the destination,” Wesgro CEO Wrenelle Stander pointed out in an official press release.
“We are confident the results will demonstrate the significant economic impact and job creation potential of the sector,” Stander also added.
Wesgro, backed by the regional government, encourages tourism, commerce, and investment in South Africa’s Western Cape to stimulate economic expansion, generate employment, and enhance living standards. The organization partners with tourism groups, different enterprises, and the authorities, to reach its goals.
The Economic Benefits of Vessel Turnaround and Increased Port Arrivals
Wesgro’s collocative economic and planning efforts helped bring in five new cruise vessels to the port this season. The port also made history by facilitating three ships’ simultaneous turnaround visits, which occurred five times, each time with outstanding results.
Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront (V&A) personnel find turnaround visits particularly appealing as they offer a chance to restock and clean ships, which supports the local economy. Vessels can also be loaded with regional products.
“The return of a full cruise season to the city has been a remarkable success, testament to the hard work all of the role-players involved in Cruise Cape Town,” V&A Waterfront CEO David Green remarked. “It’s been exciting to welcome back…iconic world cruises such as the Queen Mary 2, highlighting the value of our destination to the choice of global traveler experiences.”
After disembarking, passengers often book post-cruise tours while they wind down or wait for their flights, while new passengers often enjoy exploring a destination before their ships sail out to sea, both of which are great news for the local economy.
Luxury Cruises to Cape Town and South Africa
“Every passenger, crew member, and ship that hits our shores is a boon to our local economy and helps the City [Cape Town] to fulfill its mission of creating a tourism-related job in every household in the metro,” Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member Alderman James Vos highlighted.
Speaking of tourist-related highlights, some of the activities and sites passengers on a luxury cruise calling upon Cape Town—and other South African ports like Durban, Port Elizabeth, or Saldanha—can enjoy include the chance to view wildlife on safari excursions, or sip some great wine at tastings taking place in vineyards near Cape Town.
Mossel Bay, and Richards Bay, far to the west of Cape Town, offer lovely wine farm experiences too. In Cape Town proper, visiting cruise ship passengers can go for cultural excursions at historical sites like Robben Island and the District Six Museum or else opt for scenic hikes around Table Mountain or along the coastline.
It’s easy to see why Cape Town and the Western Cape are such popular tourist destinations, with so much to see and do, and why Wesgro and other local organizations are keen to see more cruise ships arrive in the future.