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Cape Town water shortage



Vice President of Public Affairs
Feb 15, 2018


Cape Town water shortage

As the Spring 2018 Voyage approaches South Africa, the recent news coverage of unprecedented drought and subsequent water shortage has generated questions regarding Semester at Sea’s six-day port stay in Cape Town. In continued conversations with our port agents, tour operators, and local partners in South Africa, we have been assured that the water shortage will have little to no impact on our visit. All field programs and field classes are scheduled to proceed as planned with no change to the itineraries at this time.

The Spring 2018 Voyage will likewise strive to be respectful and conscientious visitors to Cape Town during a time when there may be water rationing throughout the city. The MV World Odyssey is capable of making its own water using reverse osmosis machines from seawater at a minimum rate of 10 tons per hour. The shipboard community will learn about the environmental and political factors affecting the drought in classes and evening seminars.

Similarly, we are not planning for any changes to the Fall 2018 Voyage itinerary, but as always, we will continue to maintain regular communication with our health and safety partners in Cape Town. In the event the water shortage may affect the health and safety of our participants on either the Spring 2018 or Fall 2018 Voyages, we are prepared to divert to a pre-determined back-up port.

For more information and any additional updates, please see the Cape Town and Western Cape’s official tourism site here.

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