Traditionally, MSC Cruises reposition their South African deployed cruise ships back to Genoa at the close of the cruise season, with the vast majority of these repositioning cruises over the years departing from Durban, the most used homeport during the SA cruise season.
However, in recent years MSC Cruises have begun to increasingly deploy their Lirica-class cruise liners from South Africa to Venice, with MSC Opera departing on 28th of March on a similar 19-night cruise from Cape Town this year at the end of her final South African cruise season.
MSC Cruises sailed its cruise ships through the Indian Ocean until 2009 when MSC Melody was attacked by a pirate skiff more than 1,000 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia, just south of the Seychelles while in an area deemed, until then, safe for shipping.
“We are no longer going to travel through the dangerous areas of the Indian Ocean near the Somalian coast,” MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago told the website Spiegel shortly after the 2009 incident. “We won’t travel this route and will instead take a course along West Africa.”
The West African itinerary is lessdynamic, in our opinion, than the Indian Ocean one, but includes a massive 8-day stretch when MSC Sinfonia will be at sea and here at Cruise Arabia & Africa we love a long stretch of sea days.
While MSC Sinfonia will hug the coast of West Africa during her 2016 itinerary, visiting Senegal and Morocco, MSC Opera’s repositioning cruise later this year has been re-routed way out to sea, via St Helena, as a result of the Ebola virus currently ravaging parts of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.