Floating oasis: The MS Amsterdam that will act as a floating hotel based in Cape Town harbour during the 2010 soccer world cup. Photo by: Sam Clark, Cape Argus
Super-rich soccer fans staying on five-star floating hotels during the World Cup will have everything Cape Town has to offer - and more.
The two luxury cruise ships expected to dock here for the World Cup offer tourists everything from spas to sports activities, wine cellars, shops, libraries and a casino.
The MS Amsterdam, a five-star floating hotel similar to those that will dock in Cape Town during the tournament, arrived in the city this week.
The MS Amsterdam's sister ships, the MS Noordam and the MS Westerdam, are expected to sail into Cape Town on June 10 for the soccer extravaganza.
The vessels have been described as two of the world's most luxurious cruise liners, and are scheduled to remain in South Africa until July 12, a day after the World Cup final.
Some 2 000 guests have signed up for the MS Westerdam and 1 918 guests for MS Noordam.
During a tour of the MS Amsterdam, travel agents were taken through the ship's dining areas, gym and casino. They also viewed the crow's nest from which tourists have a clear view of the Cape Town Stadium and Table Mountain.
A spokesman for One Ocean Club, which is promoting the trip, Hartmut Schultz, said the company would offer 4 600 additional beds for World Cup guests.
From Cape Town, the two vessels are to cruise to Port Elizabeth and Durban, then sail back to the city for the last two weeks of the tournament.
Schultz said One Ocean Club staff had been in South Africa for three years, exchanging information and establishing a basis for close co-operation with local companies during the event.
"Around 80 percent of the food used on board over the four-week period in June is to be supplied by local partners," he said.
"Regional cultural events, excursions organised in partnership with South African operators, and numerous other co-operation projects round off the programme."
The MS Westerdam is the third of the Holland America Line's Vista Class ships, as well as being the third ship to bear the moniker Westerdam.
By CLAYTON BARNES 2010 Writer
Thanks Ebie Kop End for the Link