News Article

NMB closes most significant cruise season clocking more than R80million in economic impact

Published: May 24, 2024


With a total of 37 cruise liners docking in Nelson Mandela Bay this season, the NMBM together with key tourism stakeholders closed the cruise season on a successful and high note welcoming the magnificent Serenade of the Seas for the first time in the Bay.

Welcoming the passengers of the ship and crew members to NMB on Friday, 24 May 2024, Executive Mayor, Cllr Gary van Niekerk said the City was proud to have increased the number of cruise liners welcomed in the Bay this season.

"In the last season we welcomed 34 vessels with about 45 000 passengers visiting the Bay and this year it is a total of 37 passenger liners visiting our shores. The Serenade of the Seas is the last one to dock in our City since we opened the season in November 2023. It has been a successful season indeed with approximately 50 000 passengers visiting the Bay and generating an estimated economic impact of R81.5 million. The Serenade of the Seas is a world ship and is visiting our City for the first time. So we are honoured to have them here even if it is for one day, we certainly aim to have more of such vessels in our City and for a number of days as we are a world destination of choice,” the Executive Mayor said.

He was joined by Transnet Acting Harbour Master for Port of Port Elizabeth, Vuyani Ntsimango when he exchanged plaques and gifts with the Captain of the ship, Kjell Nordmo, in true Friendly City style.

"These visits play an important role in Nelson Mandela Bay’s tourism industry, bringing many passengers and crews to our shores. These passengers undertake tours and travel within our beautiful regions, spending valuable tourism Rands and

ultimately contributing to growing our economy. Nelson Mandela Bay is seen as the top cruise destination for cruise ships visiting Southern Africa due to its proximity to the Eastern Cape Safari options such as Addo Elephant National Park, and the

many Private Game Reserves around the City,” the Mayor added.

The Serenade of the Seas is carrying 795 passengers and 753 crew members.

Transnet’s Ntsimango said the entity was looking forward to another successful cruise season later this year.

In true African style, the visitors were entertained by the Bay traditional dance group, Qhama Africa.

Captain Nordmo said: "We are very excited to be here as we are on nine months around the world cruise and we have now made it here. We are carrying guests from around the world and they are currently on different tours in the region. We also have about 800 crew members on board from 60 countries around the world and they are also going out today to explore the area. When we came in this morning, we were impressed because the port is well maintained, we docked on time and we leave later this evening.”


Issued by NMBM Communications Office.

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