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Cruising to & from Port Elizabeth

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Proudly South African but haven't been to the "The Friendly City" (a.k.a. "The Windy City") yet? Easiest way to make a stop at one of the major seaports in SA and tick it off your list, is to go on a cruise from Cape Town or a cruise from Durban.

Port Elizabeth beach

 

Things to see and do in Port Elizabeth

Since you'll only be in PE for a day, here are our suggestions for top things to see and do:

Take a stroll down to the beach

PE's weather is always moderate, you especially if you have young kids, take them to the beachfront and take a dip in the lukewarm water. Especially Cape Tonians would appreciate the shift in temperature! There are also several surf spots the locals like to hang out at.

Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World

Casino, restaurants, movies, shopping and entertainment. Again a good option for families. While the adults shop/play the slots, the Magic Company offer come games and fun for the little ones.

Watch a dolphin show at Bayworld

Close to the beachfront and a great way to encourage marine and nature conservation with kids. It's open daily 9:00-16:30 (except 25 December), there's a seal & penguin presentation daily at 11:00 & 15:00 and snake interaction at 12:00. The current entry fee is R35 for adults, children 3-17 years R25 and pensioners R30.

Visit Vovo Telo Coffee Shop

Inspired by an old man on a bicycle with fresh baguettes on a Madagaskan beach in 2006, this artisan and charming little coffee shop was founded in PE and now have over 13 branches in trendy areas of SA. Offers a range of sandwiches, pastries, light breakfasts and lunches.

Bayworld Dolphin Show Vovo Telo coffee shop
Dolphin show at Bayworld
Vovo Telo coffee shop on Richmond Hill

 

Visit one of the nature reserves

If you'd like to hire a car in PE and take aday trip, Addo Elephant Park is about an hour's drive away and Cape Recife is also close-by. Kragga Kamma Game Reserve is in town.

Addo Elephant Park Kragga Kamma Game Reserve
Elephant riding at Addo Elephant Park
Kragga Kamma Game Reserve

PE skyline

Review of a Cruise to PE

This review was done when the old MSC Rhapsody was still around, so the photos are all of her, and when there was still a Starlight Cruises , who we did the booking through. To continue the history, after the MSC Rhapsody came the MSC Melody, then the MSC Sinfonia & finally, now, the MSC Opera cruise ship doing service on the route.

We had to thank the crew for their impeccable timing - as part of our Durban to Cape Town cruise aboard the MSC Rhapsody, we closed in on Port Elizabeth harbour at around 0630, making for a photographer's dream, with the sunrise lighting up the city from behind the Rhapsody as it chugged towards the harbour.

The sun rises over the deck of the Rhapsody cruiseliner as it slowly makes its way to Port Elizabeth.

deck is being cleaned as the sun rises

sun rises over the pool deck of the Rhapsody cruiseliner

A couple gathers on the (windy) deck as the cruiseliner approaches Port Elizabeth (PE).

the Rhapsody is approach PE

the Rhapsody approach PE Harbour

We had from 0900 until 1530 (the time of the last bus) to wander around Port Elizabeth.

The entrance to The Boardwalk shopping centre and casino from Marine Drive.

boarding the Rhapsody at the end of the day

Entrance to the Boardwalk shopping centre and casino (from Marine Drive)

This is the nearby boardwalk from which the shopping centre and casino got its name. There were a number of people swimming (out of picture) and the water is reasonably warm. The Boardwalk on the beach

The dam at The Boardwalk shopping centre and casino complex the dam at the Boardwalk shopping centre

"The Boardwalk welcomes passengers of MSC Rhapsody Cruiseliner" - message we saw when arriving at the Boardwalk.

Water rides at the Boardwalk (with water pistols to squirt each other with).

Rhapsody welcome sign from the Boardwalk shopping centre

water rides at the Boardwalk

Road Lodge Hotel in PE

With its attractive prices and great position next to the Boardwalk and Hobie Beach, the Road Lodge is a good choice to stay at in Port Elizabeth.

Road Lodge Hotel as seen from the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth

The Bell Tower near Port Elizabeth's harbour offers beautiful views from the top.

The Beach Hotel in Port Elizabeth is situated in the Summerstrand area on Beach Road (Marine Drive).

The bell tower in PE

The Beach Hotel in PE

A British Airways plane comes in to land at Port Elizabeth Airporta British Airways plane comes in to land over PE

The Courtyard Hotel in Port Elizabeth is situated on Marine Drive.

MSC Rhapsody about to dock in Port Elizabeth harbour.

the Courtyard Hotel in Port Elizabeth

docking at Port Elizabeth harbour

a container berth in Port Elizabeth harbour

In the top middle we can see a lighthouse and to the right of it the Elizabeth Donkin memorial.

Hobie Beach in PE is right next to the Boardwalk casino, and had lifeguards.

Elizabeth Donkin memorial & lighthouse in Port Elizabeth

Hobie Beach in PE

The Port Elizabeth Garden Court hotel, situated just off Marine Drive near King's Beach, stands above other buildings in the area and the higher floors must have spectactualar views. Garden Court in Port Elizabeth (PE)

A lifeboat of the MSC Rhapsody and the lighthouse end of the MSC Rhapsody in the background.

Moorings being put in place for the MSC Rhapsody at Port Elizabeth harbour.

lifeboat and dolosses

moorings being put in place for the MSC Rhapsody in PE

Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth (note the Boardwalk Shopping Centre & Casino in the background) Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth

The warehouse we went through after arriving at Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay).

PE City Centre in the background, tugboats docked in the harbour in the foreground.

welcome to Nelson Mandela Bay

PE City Centre

The Imonti tugboat guided the MSC Rhapsody into Port Elizabeth harbour. Imonti tugboat in Port Elizabeth

PE harbour mouth's lighthouse and dolosses seen as the MSC Rhapsody leaves port.

Passengers watching as the Rhapsody cruises out of Port Elizabeth harbour.

Dolosses from the Rhapsody

Rhapsody cruises out of PE harbour

Kings Beach in Port Elizabeth Kings Beach in Port Elizabeth

The Rhapsody cruises out of PE harbour with its dolosses on the right.

The Imonti tugboat pulls & pushes the Rhapsody out of Port Elizabeth harbour.

Rhapsody leaves PE harbour

Imonti tugboat pushes the Rhapsody

"Welcome to the Port of Port Elizabeth" (and Port Control Tower in the background) Port Control Tower at Port Elizabeth harbour

The Protea Hotel Marine in Port ElizabethProtea Hotel Marine in Port Elizabeth

Passengers on the Rhapsody looking at the Mulanje.

The Safmarine Mulanje Felixstowe in PE.

Rhapsody & Safmarine Mulanje

Safmarine Mulanje in PE

MSC Rhapsody in PE harbour Rhapsody in PE harbour

Safmarine Mulanje in Port Elizabeth harbour with the Port Control Tower in the background Safmarine Mulanje in Port Elizabeth harbour

Summerstrand part of Port ElizabethSummerstrand part of Port Elizabeth

The Boardwalk Casino in the Boardwalk shopping centre complex.

Hobie Beach with the Boardwalk shopping centre & casino in the background.

The Boardwalk Casino in Port Elizabeth

Boardwalk shopping centre with Hobie Beach in the foreground

The Beach Hotel in Port Elizabeth The Beach Hotel in Port Elizabeth

The Village Guest Lodge The Village Guest Lodge in Port Elizabeth

Whilst on the MSC Rhapsody one can watch all sorts of harbour activity.
Here's the harbour cranes unloading the Safmarine Mulanje cranes unloading the Safmarine Mulanje

Springbok Atlas bus which took us to PE Boardwalk

Tugboat pulling Rhapsody out of its moorings

Springbok Atlas bus

tugboat pulling Rhapsody with Mulanje in background

Rhapsody leaving Port Elizabeth harbour mouth.

Rhapsody's sun deck with PE in the background

Rhapsody leaving Port Elizabeth harbour mouth

Rhapsody sun deck & PE in the background

After leaving Port Elizabeth, we cruised to Cape Town.

MSC Sinfonia & Opera

The Rhapsody has been sold by MSC Cruises, and no longer operates off the coast of South Africa. Why not try the MSC Sinfonia or Opera.

2015 Investment Cruise

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