Three South African ports, operated by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), have been nominated for the Africa & Indian Ocean segment of the 25th annual World Travel Awards in the category of “Africa’s Leading Cruise Port 2018”. Members of the public have until 19 August 2018 to vote for their favourite to be in line to take the prestigious title home, with the Ports of Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth up against Kenya’s Port of Mombasa and Tanzania’s Ports of Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar.

The gala awards ceremony will take place at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on Saturday, 6 October 2018.

Founded in 1993, the World Travel Awards seek to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Global travel and tourism industry leaders will be recognised at the various World Travel Awards gala ceremonies across the world, with Durban hosting the Africa and Indian Ocean nominees, delegates and media for the third time.TNPA Chief Executive, Shulami Qalinge said: “To have been nominated for the annual World Travel Awards is a huge honour for TNPA. It means that the work we have put into positioning Durban and Cape Town as stimulus cruise home ports is being recognised, while the Port of Port Elizabeth is also taking its rightful place on the map for luxury world cruise tourism.”

South Africa’s growth as a cruise destination sees its ports increasingly feature on the itineraries of luxury cruise line operators. Annual escalations in the number of visitors and liners have afforded TNPA, and the country at large, positive socio-economic spin-offs such as tourism development, job creation, skills development and supplier development.

“We are delighted to have welcomed more than 20 luxury cruise ships operated by 17 international cruise lines to South Africa’s six cruise ports during the 2017/18 cruise season. Through port concessions TNPA is also making it possible for private operators to use their expertise to ensure that South Africa earns its slice of the global luxury cruise sector, which is one of the fastest growing segments in the tourism industry,” said Qalinge.

Port Elizabeth - Queen Mary 2
Port Elizabeth – Queen Mary 2

TNPA recently finalised its Terminal Operator Agreement with Kwa Zulu Cruise Terminal Pty Ltd (KCT) – a Joint Venture between MSC Cruises SA (a subsidiary of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA) and Africa Armada Consortium (a black empowerment partner) for the Design, Financing, Construction, Operation, Maintenance and Transfer of the new Cruise Terminal Facility for a 25 Year Concession Period in the Port of Durban.

In the calendar year 2017, 185 390 passengers were processed through the Port of Durban during 56 vessel calls. This represents a 173% increase in passenger numbers at the port over the last 10 years, from only 67 892 passengers and 39 vessel calls in 2007. The port enjoyed its busiest cruise season in 2014 when it processed 221 162 passengers and 75 vessel calls. Durban is one of the busiest ports in Africa and is the leading port in the SADC region serving as the premier trade gateway between South-South trade, Far East trade, Europe & USA, East & West Africa regional trade. Durban is used as a home port by MSC Cruises, which will introduce its MSC MUSICA vessel on the route in the 2018/19 season, following remarkable success with MSC SINFONIA sailing regionally over the last few years.

Lying in the shadows of Table Mountain, the Port of Cape Town is located on the southern tip of the African continent. The port’s strategic location has made it popular with cruise liners and global cargo holders. Cape Town is one of South Africa’s most popular holiday destinations because of its picturesque skyline and port. Further growth prospects are anticipated at the Port of Cape Town as the V&A Waterfront (Pty) Ltd was granted a concession from TNPA in 2015 for operation, maintenance and transfer of ownership of the Cape Town passenger terminal back to TNPA after a period of 20 years. The operator has a three-phase growth plan in place for the facility.

The Port of Port Elizabeth in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality provides a big boost for the local economy during the cruise season, allowing tourists on stopovers to access tourism, leisure and wildlife experiences in and around the Metro. One of the highlights of this cruise season was the visit of the QUEEN MARY 2 on 29 January 2018. She is the biggest passenger vessel to have visited the port with an overall length of 345m and gross tonnage of 149215.

To cast your vote for the Port of Durban, Port of Cape Town or Port Elizabeth, register an account on A verification email will be sent to your email account and you will need to click the verification link before you can login to cast your vote. Check your junk mail folder if you do not receive the verification email in your inbox.

Select ‘Africa’ as the region and the category of ‘Africa’s Leading Cruise Port’ to vote.

Voting is open until 19 August 2018 at midnight.