QE2 visits Durban

Mar 27, 2003
Author: P&S

The port of Durban will take on a festive air this weekend (Friday, 28 March – Sunday 30 March 2003) with three cruise ships in the port.

On Friday the first of two double-bills takes place with the arrival of Saga Rose at 06.00 for a two-day stayover lasting until Saturday at 16.00. The ship will berth at O shed on the T-Jetty and the 444 passengers on board will make use of the excellent weather at present to explore the countryside and city.

On the same morning Olympia Countess arrives on a routine visit to disembark and load up to 500 passengers before sailing later that day for a weekend cruise along the Mozambique coast. Olympia Countess returns to Durban on Monday morning.

At 5.30 on Saturday morning the world’s most famous liner, Queen Elizabeth 2 pays Durban another call. The ship was last in the port in November 2002 but this visit is part of her 2003 World Cruise, which has seen the ship cross the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

QE2’s visit has been extended as a result of perceived security risks involving her planned visit to Mombasa a week ago. Instead the ship will remain in Durban until Sunday 18.00 when she sails for Cape Town and Walvis Bay before returning to Southampton. QE2 has 1,362 passengers on board.

While in Durban a special steam-hauled Boat Train will take passengers on a ride to Botha’s Hill and the picturesque Valley of a Thousand Hills on the Saturday. A 210-ton GMAM class Garratt steam locomotive that was built in the early 1950s will haul the vintage train, which is operated by the Umgeni Steam Railway preservation society, a division of the Railway Society of Southern Africa.

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