Queen Mary sails into Cape Town with 3 desalination plants

The arrival in Cape Town today of the luxurious Queen Mary ocean liner marks the peak of a strong cruise season for Cape Town.

The Queen Mary, operated by Cunard, is arguably the world’s most famous liner. She will spend Friday night in Cape Town before departing again on Saturday January 27.

A total of 1 546 passengers on board the Queen Mary will disembark to enjoy Cape Town’s hospitality.

Another 11 ships are expected to dock in Cape Town between now and the close of the season on 24 April- including  the Costa Neo, the Silver Cloud, the Seven Seas Navigator and the iconic Queen Elizabeth 2, affectionately known as the QE2.

Last year over 31 000 passengers and 15 000 crew arrived in Cape Town on board cruise ships.

Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde said: “We are delighted that Cape Town is becoming a regular fixture on the Queen Mary’s route”.

“Our focus with Project Khulisa is creating as many tourism jobs and opportunities as possible. Our business modelling shows that the cruise ship industry could be worth R220 billion between 2017 and 2027. This is a substantial contribution to our economy. Traditionally, the cruise season runs from October to April, and so far this season, 14 671 passengers have disembarked in Cape Town,” Minister Winde said.

The Cruise Lines International Association industry report released this week shows interesting trends in cruising behaviour. The report indicates that people from all income levels are now looking to cruising for their holidays. Cruising is also no longer seen as catering just for older markets- with almost a quarter of millennial respondents in the survey indicating that they had cruised at some point in the previous three years.

The survey also indicates that many see cruising as a way to sample holiday destinations for future vacations.

“Passengers might only disembark in our city for a day or two, but we know that they are using the opportunity to window shop for future holiday destinations, and Cape Town is ready to impress”.

Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said the arrival of cruise-ship season is great news for tourism sector in the Cape. “The Queen Mary ocean liner’s arrival today shows that Cape Town and the Western Cape are open for business. It is estimated that tourism supports over 300,000 jobs (direct, indirect and induced) across the province, and contributed nearly R40 billion to the provincial economy. Tourism is therefore vital for our economy. Wesgro urges all tourists who arrive in Cape Town to abide by water restrictions, so that we can ensure that we push back Day Zero. We thank all those visitors who are already enthusiastically doing so.”


Ed: passengers will be drinking and showering in fresh clean water supplied by the ship’s 3 desalination plants. Excerpt from Wikipedia reads –

“Water supply – Fresh water aboard Queen Mary 2 is supplied by three seawater desalination plants. The plants, each with a capacity of 630,000 litres (170,000 US gal) per day, use multiple effect plate (MEP) distillation technology. The plants’ energy is supplied primarily by steam and cooling water from the ship’s gas turbines and diesel engines, or if needed by steam from the ship’s two oil-fired boilers. The traditional multiple-effect distillation technology has been improved for the ship’s plant, so that scaling of plates is reduced, vastly reducing maintenance required. The desalinated water has a very low salt content of less than five parts per million. Average total water production is 1,100,000 litres (290,000 US gal) per day with a capacity of 1,890,000 litres (500,000 US gal) so that there is ample spare capacity. The ship could easily be supplied by only two of the three plants. Potable water tanks have a capacity of 3,830,000 litres (1,010,000 US gal), enough for more than three days of supply. If the engines are running on low load (when the ship is running at a slow speed) the engine jacket cooling water temperature is insufficient to heat the seawater to run the desalination plants. In that case steam from oil-fired boilers is used to heat the sea water. This is uneconomical as generating steam is expensive. It may be cheaper, therefore, to buy water in a particular port than to produce it on board. The seawater intakes are located in the hull of the ship. Concentrated salt solution (brine) is discharged to the sea closer to the ship’s stern together with cooling water from the engines. An additional plant was added during the 2016 refit works.”

Perhaps they might consider paying their Cape Town Port Fees in fresh water ?

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Ed also makes the coffee...

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