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Cruise News & Reviews

March 25,  2010
Author: Terry Hutson



QUEEN MARY 2 to dock at O shed in Durban

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Queen Mary 2 in Sydney harbour Ė picture Cunard

Queen Mary 2 will arrive in South Africa next Tuesday, 23 March when she visits Durban for a 12-hour call, arriving at 6am and sailing that evening at 6pm.

The 345m long, 151,400-gt ship will be berthed on the T-jetty at O and O/P berths where she will be highly visible to an interested audience. As this report was being prepared there is no clarity however as to whether the public will be given access to the North Pier, which remains a construction site until the end of March.

According to three separate reports made to Ports & Ships, the contractors involved have withheld permission for the pier to be used and have instead issued instructions that additional security be placed on duty that day to prevent the public from finding a way onto the breakwater.

The R4-billion contract is virtually complete apart from a few minor bits and pieces.

The public will nevertheless be able to see the ship from quite close up by going to Festival Island jetty near the maritime museum while a longer range view will also be possible from Wilsonís Wharf as well as from most of the Esplanade.

Port manager Ricky Bhikraj told Ports & Ships on Sunday that he was still hopeful that a good vantage point would be made available for the public. He confirmed that the contractors were not keen on giving the public access to the North Pier and that the port harbour master was worried about security, but said the matter was still under consideration and that it was possible that alternative vantage points might be found. An announcement would be made in this regard, he said.

The ships agent for the Queen Mary 2, King & Sons have arranged for a plaque to be presented to the shipís master on the occasion of the vesselís visit. A spokesman for King & Sons said the ship would revisit Durban again on 7 February 2011.

Following her visit to Durban Queen Mary 2 will sail along the South African coast with a next call at Cape Town on Thursday, 25 March. The ship is reported to be fully booked for the cruise between Durban and Cape Town.