According to local media, five cruise ships are due call at Durban to refuel and take on supplies under strict Covid-19 safety protocols.
The South African port authority Transnet told Timeslive that South Africa had been considering, on a case-by-case basis, requests from cruise ships seeking permission to berth in order to refuel, restock provisions or to repatriate South African crew.
Acting chief harbour master at Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), Capt Sabelo Mdlalose, said in a statement to the newswire that these vessels would have disembarked passengers several weeks ago elsewhere and their crews have had to remain on board for an extended period as the ships make their way across the globe.
We have a duty to assist ships requiring essential services, like bunkering and replenishment of supplies, as this becomes an issue of safety of life at sea. However, we ensure that all safety precautions are taken and that a risk assessment is conducted for each vessel by the joint operations centre at each port, he said
Durban’s acting harbour master, Capt Justin Adams, said five Carnival Cruise ships were due to call between 26th May and 28th May to refuel and restock.
South Africa has banned cruise ship calls since March unless for disembarkation of returning SA citizens or permanent residents, or embarkation of departing foreign nationals.