Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) has welcomed cruise liner, MS Albatros to its docking port for the 2017/2018 season. The cruise liner will provide 650 passengers and 340 crew members with the opportunity to disembark and enjoy a wide variety of destination attraction offerings.
The Nelson Mandela Bay, which is also known as the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World, wowed passengers as a school of dolphins ushered in the vessel. MS Albatros captain Robert Fronenbroek announced the sighting to passengers allowing them to be awed by the marine species which inhabit Algoa Bay.
NMBT CEO, Mandlakazi Skefile reiterated: “Cruise liner tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry. It is particularly significant for South Africa and Nelson Mandela Bay, as the cabinet accepted The Coastal and Marine Implementation Plan in 2017. This gives rise to the important part the sector plays in marine and maritime tourism and aligning itself to the agenda of Operation Phakisa.”
Estaimated docking increase
There are 20 passenger liners heading to Nelson Mandela Bay for the cruise liner season of 2017/18 with the last docking of the MS Queen Elizabeth who brought in 2,547 passengers on 21 April 2017. Last year, 18 passenger liners visited the Nelson Mandela Bay shore. This year the new season brings an additional two vessels, whilst for the 18/19 season, eight dockings have been confirmed, with an estimated increase in numbers.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism offers a hospitality desk onboard allowing passengers access to destination information upon arrival and offering last minute bookings should passengers not have pre-booked excursions. Popular excursions include Addo Elephant National Park, Route 67, as well as craft and heritage routes.
The National Department of Tourism has advised that the coastal and marine sector will contribute about R21.4bn to the GDP and create about 116,000 direct jobs by 2026, thus reducing poverty, inequality and unemployment, while contributing to sustainable livelihoods and development.