SA Cruise News

All the cruise departures from South Africa during the 2018/2019 cruise season

There are 43 cruises from Durban in South Africa and 35 cruises from Cape Town during the coming 2018/2019 cruise season. Here’s our list of all of them.

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There are 55 cruise itineraries featuring Cape Town as a port of call in 2019, and 35 cruises departing from the city during the 2018/2019 South African cruise season, which runs from October to April annually.

Although Durban is the primary cruise departure point for MSC Cruises on its roundtrip voyages to Portuguese Island, Inyacha and Pomene Bay, Cape Town is the main port for all other cruises.

The city’s cruise tourism market has been hit by the ongoing drought crisis, with a 40% drop in cruise ship calls year-on-year, but the recent redevelopment of the Cape Town Cruise Terminal has encouraged many of the world’s major cruise lines to continue to use the city as a staging post on their grand voyages.

Cruise lines homeporting in South Africa

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MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is the dominant cruise player in the South African market, and the only cruise line operating in the country that targets South Africans as a source market for bookings. MSC homeports seasonally in both Cape Town and Durban every year.

For the 2018/2019 cruise season, running between November and March in the South African summer, MSC Musica will homeport in South Africa. The Cape Town portion of her season will involve three 4-night roundtrip Cape Town cruises to Walvis Bay and one 1-night cruise to nowhere, all departing in January.

Durban is MSC Cruises main base of operations in the country, so much so that it is actually co-funding the construction of the new Durban Cruise Terminal. MSC Musica will cruise roundtrip from Durban 42 times during the 2018/2019 season between November and April.

These cruises are all predominantly 3 and 4-night cruises up the coast to Portuguese Island and Pomene Bay.

The 3-night cruises are quick jaunts to Portuguese Island with an overnight at anchor before heading home to Durban. The 4-night cruises feature a day at Portuguese Island, followed by a visit to Pomene Bay before cruising home overnight to Durban.

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Pomene Bay, Mozambique

Pomene Bay is a new edition to the South African cruise circuit, providing South African cruise passengers aboard MSC Musica with a welcome new port of call.

MSC Musica will also sail one 2-night cruise to nowhere from Durban on December 14th, 2018. Two 5-night cruises, departing November 19th and December 22nd will also be offered. These cruises are identical to the 4-night itineraries, except that Maputo is the port of call on the fourth day.

On December 27th, 2018, MSC Musica will cruise from Durban to Mauritius on her annual New Year Cruise. The 11-night voyage is extremely popular, even though it entails three consecutive days at sea between Durban and Port Louis.

In Mauritius MSC Musica will spend two nights in port before cruising overnight to Reunion, where she will spend another night in port, before making the three day crossing back to Durban.

All other cruises from South Africa during the 2018/2019 season:

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Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Germany’s premier luxury cruise line Hapag-Lloyd will be cruising from Cape Town twice during the 2018/2019 South African season.

It’s new flagship Europa 2 will cruise from Cape Town on November 4th, 2018 to Mauritius on a 12-night voyage that takes in Port Elizabeth, Durban and Richard’s Bay, as well as Fort Dauphin in Madagascar and Reunion on the way to Port Louis, Mauritius.

The port call in Durban is a rare overnight stay alongside, reflecting the interest German cruise passengers have in South Africa’s wildlife and cultural attractions.

Hapag-Lloyd’s slightly smaller, but no less luxurious, Europa cruise ship will also cruise from Cape Town, but on December 10th, bound for Buenos Aires in Argentina. This cruise is the most unusual of all the Cape Town cruise departures this coming season, as it’s a 10-day voyage with no port calls at all.

Europa will cruise straight out into the South Atlantic and guests won’t see land again until she arrives in Argentina the following week.

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Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises ship Nautica will cruise from Cape Town on January 5th, a 15-night roundtrip Cape Town cruise visiting all the major cruise ports on the South African coast, as well as Walvis Bay in Namibia and Maputo in Mozambique.

On January 20th, Nautica will depart Cape Town bound for Singapore, a 30-night voyage that calls again in Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Richard’s Bay and Maputo, along with ports on the East African coast, the Indian Ocean, India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.

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Regent Seven Seas

Regent Seven Seas is a luxury cruise line that regularly offers a Cape Town cruise departure. The 2018 and 2019 Cape Town cruises will be offered by Seven Seas Explorer, the line’s brand-new ship.

Seven Seas Explorer will cruise roundtrip from Cape Town on December 22nd, 2018 on a 15-night cruise up and down the South African coast. She’ll visit Luderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia as well as Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Richard’s Bay, and Mossel Bay in South Africa.

On January 6th, 2019, Seven Seas Explorer will cruise from Cape Town bound for Rio de Janeiro. She’ll visit Lüderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia, as well as the fascinating and remote St Helena on her 14-night southern trans-Atlantic.

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Cunard

Cunard Line’s annual South African cruise departures are popular with South Africans, as well as international cruisers. In 2019, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will offer a total of three Cape Town cruise departures.

On January 16th, 2019, Queen Elizabeth will cruise from Cape Town to Fremantle on a 16-night voyage across the Indian Ocean that can also be booked as a 20 or 22-night cruise ending in Adelaide or Melbourne. On November 20th, 2019, Queen Elizabeth will cruise from Cape Town again, on the exact same itinerary.

Queen Victoria will offer a Cape Town cruise departure on April 12th, 2019, a 16-night voyage that follows the route of the old ocean liners sailing between Cape Town and Southampton in the UK.

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Seabourn

Seabourn Cruise Line will cruise twice from Cape Town in 2019 with Seabourn Sojourn. On February 21st, 2019, Sojourn will cruise roundtrip from Cape Town on a 12-night voyage to Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Lüderitz and Walvis Bay.

Then on March 5th, she’ll depart Cape Town on a grand voyage of 95-nights to Vancouver. This cruise can also be booked in smaller legs, however, with a 20-night itinerary that ends in Male, in the Maldives, 36-nights ending in Singapore, 54-nights ending in Shanghai, or 72-nights ending in Kobe, Japan.

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Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises’ luxury cruise ship Crystal Serenity will cruise from Cape Town to Monaco on March 13th, 2019, a 26-night itinerary that visits both St Helena and Ascension islands in the South Atlantic, as well as Lüderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia, and the Cape Verde and Canary Islands.

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Voyages to Antiquity

Voyages to Antiquity, the British cruise line with a laser sharp focus on ancient history, will be cruising from Cape Town to Malaga in Spain on March 13th, 2019. The 33-night cruise is the most interesting West African itinerary of any cruise departing Cape Town.

Voyages to Antiquity’s little cruise ship Aegean Odyssey will call at nine different ports between Cape Town and Malaga, many of them, such as Luderitz, Walvis Bay, and Luanda, are on the African coast. Other destinations include the Cape Verde islands, Canary Islands and infamous Casablanca in Morocco.

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Cruise & Maritime Voyages

The British cruise line Cruise & Maritime Voyages, offering a Cunard-esque traditional cruise experience at a fraction of the cost, will be cruising from Cape Town with their little cruise ship Astor on March 30th, 2019.

The 23-night voyage from Cape Town to Southampton mirrors the itinerary of Queen Victoria, which is doing the same run in April. Astor, however, will call at more ports along the way, notably in Namibia, Morocco, Cape Verde and Portugal. As a result, this cruise is 23-nights compared to Queen Victoria’s 16-night voyage.

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Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises are sending their smallest cruise ship, the R-class Pacific Princess, to Cape Town in 2019 for a 24-night cruise from the Mother City to Fort Lauderdale in Miami.

The cruise is a single leg in her 111-night roundtrip Fort Lauderdale world cruise. It can be purchased separately as a 24-night cruise from Cape Town to Fort Lauderdale, or as a 39-night cruise from Cape Town to Los Angeles.

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Silversea Cruises

Luxury cruise line Silversea are sending Silver Whisper to South African in 2019. She will cruise from Cape Town to Lisbon on April 17th. The 24-night itinerary is the most port-heavy of all the northbound Cape Town cruises along the west coast of Africa.

Silver Whisper will call at eight ports between Cape Town and Lisbon, including Walvis Bay, Principe in Sao Tome and Principe, Lome in Togo, Tema in Ghana, Banjul in Gambia, Dakar in Senegal, Casablanca in Morocco and Seville in Spain.

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Phoenix Reisen

German cruise line Phoenix Reisen will cruise from Cape Town three times in the coming season, once with Amadea in 2018 and twice in 2019 with its cruise ship Albatros.

Amadea’s November 14th cruise from Cape Town in 2018 will be a 15-night cruise to Mauritius visiting all of South Africa’s key cruise ports, as well as Maputo and Fort Dauphine. This cruise can also be booked as much longer 39-night cruise to Villefranche (Nice), France.

The first cruise from Cape Town to Mahe in the Seychelles departs October 22nd, 2019 and calls at all the major South African cruise ports and most of the island nations in the Indian Ocean over the course of 16 nights.

The second cruise, on November 22nd, is a 26-night cruise from Cape Town to Monaco, also aboard Albatros. This cruise calls at 10 ports, many of them along the West African coast, including Walvis Bay, Lüderitz, Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Gambia and the Atlantic islands of  Sao Tome and Principe and the Canary Islands.

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Fred Olsen

After cruising from Durban for the first time ever last year, Fred Olsen Cruise Line is back with Boudicca in 2019. The classic cruise ship will cruise from Cape Town to Phuket in Thailand on November 20th, 2019. The 28-night cruise can also be booked as a shorter 14-night cruise ending in Mahe, Seychelles.

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