A dedicated berthing terminal for cruise liners at Cape Town's Table Bay harbour is to be built after South African state company Transnet gave in to pressure from city and provincial authorities unhappy with the current arrangement
In January 2012 the department of home affairs issued a surprise order that banned liners exceeding 200m in length from berthing at the city's V&A Waterfront for safety reasons. The move required the larger liners to berth at E-Berth in Duncan Dock which has been described variously by shipping operators and tourist officials as "inconvenient", "chaotic" and "unsuitable" for the luxury vessels whose visitors do not see Cape Town in its best light.
A spokesperson for the ports authority said that the new terminal would be completed within the next two years and would feature an arrivals and departures facility and restrooms. The authority is currently finalising the tendering process of identifying suitable investors and operators, and it is hoped that the development might attract more international cruise liner operators in the future.
However tourism chiefs would still like to see the large liners being welcomed again at the V&A. Western Cape economic development boss Alan Winde said "While we have not yet been able to return to docking at the Waterfront, the facilities within E-berth are being significantly improved."
Over 11,000 passengers came to the province on 19 visiting cruise liners in 2011.