MSC Cruises doubles up in South Africa; new Durban terminal to open in 2021

MSC Opera to homeport in Cape Town

MSC Cruises is positioning two ships in South Africa for 2020/21 season with Lirica class MSC Opera and Musica class MSC Musica headed to Cape Town and Durban, respectively.

Ross Volk, Managing Director for MSC Cruises South Africa commented: ‘The deployment for the first time of two classes of MSC Cruises ship to South Africa for the local 2020/2021 cruise season will allow us to meet more fully the growth in demand we have experienced over the past few years. As such, it is also as a further sign of MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to this key market and its tourism’

From December 2020, MSC Opera will homeport in Cape Town, joining MSC Musica – which will be based in Durban as of November.

Alternating routes

MSC Musica and MSC Opera, which was refurbished in 2014 as part of the company’s Renaissance Programme, will together offer over 60 cruises next season. The two ships will serve alternate routes, providing South African and international cruisers with a wider choice of cruise options.

Highlights of these itineraries include: Pomene Bay in Mozambique, a marine safari experience and Portuguese Island, a small, uninhabited island set between the African coast and the Indian Ocean, Maputo, the capital of Mozambique and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Ahead of the season, both will leave Venice, departing on October 25, 2020 (MSC Musica) and November 98, 2020 (MSC Opera) on their way to Cape Town and Durban, respectively.

Investment in African tourism

MSC Cruises’ plan to bring two ships to South Africa in 2020 is part of the company’s commitment to investing in African tourism. This investment has included infrastructure development in Mozambique and continued collaboration with the Namibian government, as Walvis Bay is one of the ports that MSC Cruises sails to, noted Volk.

The cruise line is investing in the construction of a new Durban Cruise Terminal as part of the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Consortium (KTC).

‘This multi-user terminal will make Durban an even more desirable destination for cruise ships from all over the world,’ explains Volk. ‘It will substantially boost tourism numbers as well as help creating local jobs and lead to local supplier development. The construction of this state-of-the-art terminal is an exciting project that MSC Cruises is proud to be a part of.’

All partners in the initiative will shortly sign off the final design of the terminal and ground-breaking is scheduled for later this year. The new port is currently expected to be operational by January 2021, remarked Volk.

MSC Orchestra first

For the upcoming 2019/2020 season MSC Orchestra makes her maiden voyage to South Africa in November, offering three-, four-, five- and 11-night sailings out of Durban and around the South African coastline until April 2020.

Posted 21 August 2019

© Copyright 2019 Seatrade Informa Markets. Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade Informa Markets.

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Mary Bond

Author Bio ▼

Editor in Chief/Publisher Seatrade Cruise News & Seatrade Cruise Review Mary Bond is Group Director, Seatrade Cruise a division within Informa Markets and responsible for the Seatrade portfolio of global cruise events, print and online cruise publishing. Mary is also publisher and editor-in-chief of Seatrade Cruise News, the leading daily online news service for the global cruise industry and Seatrade Cruise Review quarterly, the official magazine at Seatrade cruise events worldwide. Mary has worked in the shipping industry for 39 years, first for Lloyd’s Register of Shipping before joining Seatrade’s editorial team in 1985. Mary is on the steering committee of CruiseBritian and has edited MedCruise News and MedCruise Yearbook for more than 15 years.

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