Cape Town entertains the cruise ships

Jan 26, 2007
Author: P&S


Yesterday was a bumper passenger ship day for Cape Town with four passenger/cruise ships gracing the port and the V&A Waterfront in particular.

Fred Olsen’s cruise ship BLACK WATCH of 28,670-gt was the first to arrive on Tuesday for a two-day stopover – she sailed again late last night. BLACK WATCH is a regular and popular caller in South Africa bringing mainly British visitors to these shores. From Cape Town she ahs headed around the Cape toward the east coast ports.

The second ship to arrive was another British ship, the rather delightful 24,490gt SAGA RUBY, which with her near sister SAGA ROSE must surely rank as two of the best looking classic passenger ships afloat. SAGA RUBY operates with the Saga Holidays company of Folkstone, UK. She was built at as the VISTAFJORD for the Norwegian American Line of Oslo in 1983, before being sold to Cunard in 1999 and renamed CARONIA, in which guise she remained until Saga bought her in 2003. She carries up to 690 passengers.

Closely following behind SAGA RUBY was the diminutive Kenyan cruise ship ROYAL STAR (5.067-gt) which is becoming a regular summer caller in these parts. At this time of year ROYAL STAR makes a change to her routine of cruises between Mombasa and the northern Indian Ocean islands when she heads off down the east coast into South African waters. She is one of the few cruise ships able to actually dock at Mossel Bay by going alongside in that little harbour – other larger ships anchor outside and hope for calm seas so that passengers can go ashore to sample the delights of the Southern Cape. As shown in a photograph carried in PORTS & SHIPS earlier this week, ROYAL STAR is looking quite splendid for her age (built 1976). The ship was built at the Italian yard of CRD Adriatico in Trieste as the passenger ship SAN GIORGIO.

Bringing up the rear of this quartet of passenger ships was the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) St Helena, which could regard Cape Town as her home base from where she journeys out to the islands of St Helena and Ascension in the south Atlantic and occasional forays to the even more remote Tristan da Cunha.


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