Question marks arise over QE2’s move to Cape Town
July 28, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson
Question marks about the suitability of bringing the passenger liner QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 to Cape Town as a floating hotel have begun surfacing as reaction sets in from other interests in the Mother City.
One of the first adverse responses came from Cape Town Tourism, the city’s official tourism authority which raised doubts on the venture saying that Cape Town already has sufficient accommodation for the period of the 2010 Soccer World Cup next year and that any new venture needs to be responsible and sustainable and fair to all the market players – presumably meaning the other hotels and B&B providers.
The tourism organisation says further study on the impact of the ship’s arrival and stopover for 18 months is required. Warning that it might not be in the best interests of the city, Cape Town Tourism says it nevertheless remains open to engagement with those responsible for bringing QE2 to Cape Town.
The company contracted by FIFA to assist with the provision of accommodation requirements, Match Events Services says it has a policy that cruise ships will not be used as an accommodation solution for South Africa during the World Cup. This was after Sepp Blatter, FIFA president said on German television that cruise ships capable of accommodating 2,000 people each could be used as temporary hotel accommodation in South Africa.
So far only one operator of cruise ships to South Africa for the Soccer World Cup has been announced – One Ocean Club which has chartered two Holland America cruise ships, the WESTERDAM and NOORDAM which will operate between Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town from 11 June onwards with 2 to 5 day packages for soccer fans. See PORTS & SHIPS report HERE
Part of Cape Town’s repair quay has been earmarked for use by these ships but in Durban initial approaches were made by Transnet to the Fresh Produce Terminal for the use of the T-Jetty, only for it to be pointed out that June and July is peak season for citrus exports, with the available berths usually heavily booked by reefer ships. It is now thought likely that the cruise ships will instead make use of either the Car Terminal berths on the opposite side of the T-Jetty (M berth) or the Point berths A and B which were originally earmarked for development as a cruise ship terminal area.
Details of One Ocean Club and the South African Soccer World Cup programme can be found HERE
Transnet has yet to make a decision on allowing the transfer of QE2 to Cape Town later this year.
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