Ports in Africa for years have been more than occasional stops on extended world cruises, but global cruise companies are increasingly expanding destinations and extending time in local waters, with benefits for local economies.
Key to the recent growth has been investment in cruise ship terminal facilities. Back in 2015, the management of V&A Waterfront in Cape Town invested US$4 million into revamping the Cruise Terminal of the precinct. Over the past 4 years, the renovated facility has welcomed more than 150 ships and upward of 260,000 cruise passengers. Cape Town Tourism states that the projected value of the cruise industry between 2017-2027 is estimated to be in the region of US$15 million.
In the South African port city of Durban (where MSC Cruises operates a popular schedule of cruises aimed at the middle-tier market) construction on a US$13.9 million terminal is underway. MSC has also invested in shore facilities in Mozambique, a stop for the line's itineraries in East Africa.
Further north, Kenya is hoping for a slice of the growth, with a brand new cruise terminal in the city of Mombasa scheduled to be completed early 2020.
In early 2020, Azamara Quest will sail on a series of 10-night cruises along the coastline of South Africa from her base in Cape Town, while the German AIDA Cruises will homeport AIDAmira in Cape Town for 2 months, offering 14-day sailings in the region.