The queen of the oceans, the majestic luxury liner Queen Mary 2, will arrive in Durban for its third visit in as many years, hopefully to as great a welcome as on previous occasions.

The Queen Mary 2, at 150 000 tons the world’s largest passenger liner ever built and among the largest passenger carrying ships in existence, will arrive off the port at 6am on Saturday, 28 January 2012 and will berth at O/P shed near Durban’s passenger terminal on the T-jetty.

The T-jetty itself will not be open to the public but there are excellent viewing positions from Festival Island, next to the Port Natal Maritime Museum – which is worth a visit and has adequate parking; the new yacht mole (park near Café Fish and walk across the grassed area and along the mole); and from Wilson’s Wharf.

You can also take a ferry ride on one of the many pleasure boats in service from the yacht mole, Dorothy Nyembe (Gardiner) Street jetty or Wilson’s Wharf.

The port authority hasn’t yet announced whether the North Pier will be opened for the occasion, but this can be anticipated as the ship’s visit creates enormous goodwill, prestige and publicity for the port. The NSRI is again providing limited use of its balcony, which overlooks the entrance channel, at a cost of a donation. A continental breakfast is thrown in.

The ship will depart at 6pm, providing that the various tours offered to passengers have returned to the ship on time. Again it is hoped that the North Pier will be opened for the occasion. The NSRI is again providing limited facilities for the evening, including wine and snacks. Please contact the NSRI at 031 332 9772 to secure a place.

The port management has incidentally indicated that the North Pier will be reopened to the public by June, but that’s a subject for another week.

**Kindly note that the public viewing area for the 28th of January 2012 will be adjacent the NSRI building on Mahatma Ghandi Road for people wanting to view the arrival of the Queen Mary into the Port Of Durban.

**The facility has made provisions for pedestrian access only and parking will not be provided. Please note that firearms, alcohol and braai’s will NOT be permitted in the viewing area.