by Richard Frasier

Regal beauty

Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2
Regal beauty.jpeg
When one pictures an old-fashioned cruise ship, few images spring to mind quite as distinctly as the majestic Queen Mary 2, with five-star luxury from port to starboard.

Cape Town has a long tradition of welcoming ships and passenger liners to its shores, a tradition which continued when the Queen Mary 2 berthed at Duncan Dock in Cape Town harbour after a brief stop in Swakopmund.

The RMS Queen Mary 2 was on its regular world cruise, which commenced in Southampton, England in January. After Cape Town it docks at Durban harbour before continuing to Mauritius and across the Indian Ocean, where it will circumnavigate Australia before heading to Rabaul in Papua New Guinea en route to Japan.
The ship is one of the world’s biggest passenger liners − literally a huge maritime resort, with a capacity for 1 250 crew and 3 000 passengers.

Passengers who embark on this particular adventure can expect all the pomp and ceremony of a proper English liner – be sure to pack you tux and dancing shoes.
Special guest speakers such as British media personality Sir David Frost entertain passengers during daytime lectures, before one gets flooded with a thousand-and-one options for dinner.

Sustainable tourism

Globally, cruise liner tourism is a fast-growing niche in the tourism industry. Increasing cruise tourism to Cape Town promises to benefit the city due to the associated spending by cruise passengers and crews and the costs of operations, goods and maintenance while the liner is in Cape Town harbour.

The cruise liner industry is also seen as an example of sustainable tourism, playing a significant role in the welfare and quality of life of the communities it visits as well as those involved in initial infrastructural developments and supply chains.

Grant Pascoe, a member of the Cape Town Mayoral Committee for Tourism, Events and Marketing, says: “Cruise tourism is one of the niche areas that the City of Cape Town has earmarked as an area of mid to long-term growth. The cruise sector has the right credentials for developing environmentally and socially sustainable tourism and we are committed to working with all industry and government players to provide an easily accessible, welcoming and efficient port of entry to our city.”

Skye Grove, communications manager at Cape Town Tourism, adds: “The global demand for tourist cruises has been growing at a very strong pace, accounting for robust annual growth of 8% over more than 20 years. In excess of 16 million people take annual cruise holidays internationally, stimulating tourism activities and economic growth in berthing ports and communities.

“A number of the passengers on the Queen Mary 2 disembark at Cape Town and extend their stay in our city, joining thousands of international visitors here for the international peak tourism season during January and February.”

Richard Frasier (photographs courtesy of Cunard)

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