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Compiled by Devina Haripersad

World’s second-biggest ocean liner officially docks in Durban Harbour

The mayor used the occasion to draw attention to the expansion of the Port of Durban.

The world’s second biggest ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2, has been welcomed with a grand ceremony to Durban after its docked at the city’s harbour early on Monday morning.

The cruise-liner docked at N Shed, Old Harbour, and was welcomed by eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.

The mayor used the occasion of the docking of the Queen Mary 2 to draw attention to the expansion of the Port of Durban for tourism.

“The arrival of Queen Mary 2 comes as we are busy with the expansion of the Port of Durban. This development is expected to be a major drawcard for cruise liners and will include five-star hotels, a retail mall, apartments, and an African cultural centre,” he said.

ALSO READ: Queen Mary 2 to dock in Durban on Monday

Earlier this year, the eThekwini Municipality, Transnet SOC Ltd, and the Provincial Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) Department announced that they were partnering to transform the Durban’s waterfront and marina into an economic and tourism asset.

Warm welcome

Kaunda was on hand to personally welcome the crew and passengers.

As the Queen Mary 2 docked, Zulu dancers and singers warmly welcomed the 2 000 passengers and 950 crew members as they disembarked in Durban.

During the engagement, Kaunda presented a gift to the ship’s Captain Andrew Hall.

Hall thanked Kaunda for the gift, expressing how grateful they are to receive such a heart-warming welcome to the city.

Meanwhile, Kaunda announced that Durban Tourism has also just rolled out its winter season destination promotion campaign

ALSO READ: ‘One of a kind’: World’s biggest cruise liner pays fleeting visit to Durban

“The Easter holidays are almost here, and we are busy with our winter season destination promotion campaign. City tours for passengers have been organised to showcase the many tourism offerings of the city. We want the ship’s passengers to return to our beautiful city,” he said.

According to Kaunda, Durban is working on creating tourism packages to maintain its status as a popular destination for tourists. He also noted that the arrival of Queen Mary 2 is a positive indication that the city’s tourism industry is recovering after facing various obstacles.

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Durban Harbour eThekwini municipality tourism