Iconic Mossel Bay cruise-ship gateway to the Garden Route

Serenade of the Seas - Mossel BaySerenade of the Seas - Mossel Bay
Serenade of the Seas - Mossel BaySerenade of the Seas - Mossel Bay

Iconic Mossel Bay cruise-ship gateway to the Garden Route

Cruise Season ended on a high last month, when Serenade of the Seas anchored in Mossel Bay for the first time ever on May 25. The arrival of these spectacular liners in the bay is a joy to behold but, more importantly, an invaluable part of promoting the town’s stellar rise on international tourism maps.

Says Lieschke Steven-Jennings, Chief Operations Officer of Mossel Bay Tourism: “In just over 18 months, we have grown from approximately 5 cruise ships per season to 26 scheduled ships per season.”

“Building key relationships during this time was vital to the success of cruise tourism for our area. Contributing to the allure is the overall growth and products on offer in Mossel Bay. It is no longer a small sail-by coastal town but fast becoming one of the favourite destinations to anchor,” she says.

Serenade of the Seas is the third Radiance-class ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet and arrived on the last Saturday in May at around 7am. Of the ±930 passengers on board, about 230 went on excursions in and around the town, while the balance spent the day exploring shops, museums, eateries and activities.

Mossel Bay’s 2023/24 Cruise Season was scheduled from October 2023 to May 2024. In November, Vasco Da Gama kicked off the oceanic influx with 420 passengers and 156 going on excursions. In the same month, SH Diana brought 65 passengers with 26 going on excursions. In December, 211 of the 400 passengers on Azamara Pursuit opted for an excursion.

The first cruise liner to visit Mossel Bay in 2024 was Silver Spirit, which arrived on Wednesday 3 January with 650 passengers, of whom 423 opted to book an excursion.

“The financial benefits are substantial,” said Mossel Bay Tourism Board chairman Mark Furness when speaking at the official launch of Cruise Season 2023/24. “The potential direct boost for the Mossel Bay economy is over R3-million per season, and approximately R14.4-million for the Garden Route.”

Mossel Bay acting port manager, Captain Vania said that, during the recently concluded Cruise Season, the port welcomed a record-breaking 19 vessels (bad weather prevented a handful of moorings). This made a significant contribution to the R1.2-billion revenue from cruise tourism generated by the Western Cape economy, while promoting the Garden Route district as an attractive cruise-tourism destination.

The final tally of passengers disembarking in Mossel Bay during the 2023/24 Cruise Season, including pre-booked Garden Route excursions, totalled approximately 16 337.  These tours are booked in advance, which means that all passengers had the option of booking a tour or exploring on their own steam. The 5km walking Tourist Route remains a firm favourite since it can be done on foot or on rental bikes.

Wesgro (the Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency) also arrived in Mossel Bay in time to experience first-hand the arrival of Serenade of the Seas and to meet with key staff members of the local Transnet National Ports Authority, while observing harbour operations. The input and expertise of the Cruise Cape Town initiative (tasked with growing the cruise economy across the entire Western Cape coastline) in particular contributed invaluably to growing cruise liner numbers at Mossel Bay Port.

Concludes Lieschke Steven-Jennings: “We express our sincere gratitude to Wesgro for taking the time out of their busy schedule for a quick visit to Mossel Bay and hope they enjoyed learning more about our harbour and the expansion plans to accommodate larger vessels. We’re really excited to see what the 2024/25 Cruise Season, starting again in October this year, has in store for us.”

Mossel Bay’s Tourism team will, as always, be at the harbour throughout Cruise Season, manning a hospitality desk to welcome passengers while providing service with a smile, important information and directions to the cruise-liner guests.

Visit Mossel Bay Tourism on the corner of Market and Church Streets in the historic CBD, or call 044 691 2202 or email info@visitmosselbay.co.za to book your stay. See www.visitmosselbay.co.za for additional information.

Article Courtesy of www.gojipr.net  

Press release on behalf of Mossel Bay Tourism:
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mimi finestone |  mimi@gojipr.net  |  +27 84 583 3144

Serenade of the Seas - Mossel Bay