Saldanha attracts first cruise vessel
MRA Online
/ Categories: Blue Economy, Ports, Tourism

Saldanha attracts first cruise vessel

Boosting maritime tourism

SOUTH AFRICA: Arriving from Walvis Bay, the Silver Cloud became the first ever cruise vessel to visit the Port of Saldanha Bay this week when she docked with 227 passengers to explore the West Coast as a tourism destination.

Not usually viewed as a cruising destination, the visit of the inaugural cruise liner highlights how a boost to tourism would positively impact the economic development of the region. “We’re excited to receive the first cruise vessel as this accentuates tourism as one of the most attractive sectors to support future development, said Saldanha Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Andre Truter at a media event to commemorate the port milestone.

“The port’s ability to dock its first cruise liner shows its readiness to diversify its offering and explore means to boost economic development in the region. The interest from global cruise liners to visit this side of the coast presents an opportunity to showcase Saldanha as a tourism destination,” said Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange.

The Silver Cloud remained in port of two days before departing for the Port of Cape Town captained by local mariner, Captain Freddie Lighthelm who is a qualified ice pilot and was also part of the part of the team that assisted with the building and delivery of South Africa’s icebreaker, the SA Agulhas II.

In addition, he joined the team on board the vessel for the historic 2019 expedition that discovered the Endurance.

CAPTION: Plaque exchange between TNPA Captain Silindile Mdlalose and Vessel Captain Simon Frederick Lighthelm. 



Silver Cloud is the first hybrid ship in the Silversea fleet – Part of the Royal Caribbean Group. She underwent an extensive refit in 2017, to bring her up to ice class, with the addition of a fleet of zodiacs added to the tops decks. She is one of the elite luxury vessels undertaking Antarctic voyages. “Spacious yet intimate, designed to cross oceans and yet able to slip up rivers and into hidden harbours with ease, the yacht-like Silver Cloud carries just 254 guests in incomparable comfort and style.” (Swoop Antarctica)


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