Neighbourhood News Update: Opening Of Cruise Season Brings Optimism And Economic Growth To SA’s Port Cities


Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) opens its 2023/24 cruise liner season today, with 175 confirmed vessel call-ins bringing an estimated 166,933 passengers to South African port cities through its commercial seaports.

Photo caption (from left to right): Dr Shirley Zinn, Chairperson of the boards of V&A Waterfront and Wesgro; Wrenelle Wenger, CEO of Wesgro; Adv Phyllis Difeto, TNPA Managing Executive for Western Region Ports; Alderman James Vos, City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for economic growth; Vusi Nondo, V&A Executive for Development; Capt Michail Smyrnaios of cruise ship Vasco Da Gama

The opening of this year’s cruise season is marked by the arrival of Vasco da Gama’s maiden voyage at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal – voted Africa’s Leading Cruise Port in the 2023 World Travel Awards.

Speaking at the opening of the cruise season, TNPA Managing Executive for Western Region Ports, Advocate Phyllis Difeto said: “Our ports are at the heart of driving economic growth and social sustainability, acting as gateways for international trade. At the core of our readiness for this year’s cruise season is to ensure that our port infrastructure is reliable and efficient to handle passenger vessels of any size.”

In six of South Africa’s commercial seaports, TNPA will sail and dock approximately 175 scheduled vessel calls with 59 call-ins planned for Cape Town, 33 for Durban, 28 for Port Elizabeth, 25 for Richards Bay, 22 for Mossel Bay, and 8 for East London.

“As we start this season, together with our public and private sector partners, Cruise Cape Town – powered by Wesgro – is committed to continuing its cruise development efforts in the region. Building on the success of the previous season, which injected an estimated R1.2 billion into the Western Cape economy alone, the team is dedicated to facilitating continued sustainable growth, as we anticipate even greater achievements in the seasons to come,” said Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro CEO and Official Spokesperson for Cruise Cape Town.

TNPA anticipates that as the season progresses, more vessels will be confirmed.

“The city is experiencing a rapid tourism recovery and it is the collective efforts of all the stakeholders in tourism promotion, products, and services that have continued to bear fruit, repeatedly placing Cape Town as a global destination of choice for travellers and creating opportunities for the sector. As a manager of Africa’s best cruise terminal, the Waterfront, as always, is ready to give a warm welcome to cruise operators and visitors coming through our doors to enjoy the best of what South Africa has to offer,” said David Green, CEO of V&A Waterfront.

TNPA’s collaborative efforts with stakeholders in growing the cruise economy further promote South Africa as a destination of choice for cruise passengers.


About Transnet National Ports Authority

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is one of six operating divisions of Transnet SOC Ltd.  The National Ports Authority is responsible for the safe, effective, and efficient economic functioning of the national port system, which it manages in a landlord capacity.  It provides port infrastructure and marine services at the eight commercial seaports in South Africa – Richards Bay, Durban, Saldanha, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Mossel Bay, and Ngqura.

It operates within a legislative and regulatory environment and is governed by the National Ports Act (Act No. 12 of 2005).

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Issued on behalf of Transnet National Ports Authority by:

Ayanda Mantshongo

Executive Manager: Corporate Affairs

For media queries please contact:

Sphelele Nxele  – 0609927721