SA Cruise News

MSC Cruises confident MSC Musica will become South Africa’s “new darling”

The deployment of a much larger cruise ship in the South African market is a sign of MSC Cruises’ confidence in the SA source market, and of South Africans’ growing desire for local cruises, says Ross Volk, managing director, MSC Cruises SA.

“South Africans fell in love with MSC Sinfonia. She enchanted many of her guests into coming back for more and played hostess to countless symbolic wedding ceremonies, honeymoons, anniversaries, and vow renewals as well as glamorous events, high-stakes charity auctions, and unforgettable corporate functions,” he said.

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MSC Musica will be the largest cruise ship MSC has ever homeported in South Africa

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MSC Cruises deployed Sinfonia in South Africa for the last four years, replacing the cruise line’s oldest ship MSC Melody prior to her decommissioning. MSC Sinfonia has proven hugely popular, prompting MSC Cruises to increase its tonnage in the local market once more with a ship 40% larger.

“We have no doubt that MSC Musica will very quickly become their new darling of the Indian Ocean,” said Volk. “Her first cruise in our 2018-2019 season is a four-night cruise with both Portuguese Island and Pomene Bay on the itinerary.”

Pomene Bay is MSC Cruises’ new cruise beach destination in Mozambique, it will be included on 18 of MSC Musica’s roundtrip Durban cruises during the 2018/2019 cruise season that runs from November to March each year.

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Pomene Bay, MSC Cruises island beach destination in Mozambique

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Pomene Bay and the ever-popular Portuguese Island will be the main focus of this year’s MSC Cruises season in South Africa. The destinations will be visited on 3, 4 and 5-night roundtrip cruises from Durban, with the 4 night options calling at both and the 5-night options including Maputo as well.

At both Pomene Bay and Portuguese Island passengers tender ashore, presenting the risk of the port call being cancelled due to inclement sea conditions.

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Portuguese Island is a popular destination on MSC’s 3-night cruises from Durban

It’s unfortunate that the longer 4 and 5-day cruises don’t also include Ilha de Mozambique as an option. At both Portuguese Island and Pomene Bay, the emphasis in terms of activities and shore excursions is on water sports, canoeing, snorkelling and sunbathing.

At Ilha de Mozambique, however, there is an ancient fort (part of a Unesco World Heritage Centre), and several historic buildings tracing the island’s past as the capital of Mozambique for nearly four centuries under Portuguese colonization.

Indeed, it was the intractable nature of the Portuguese occupation of the island that prompted the birth of Cape Town as the Dutch East India Company’s principle re-provisioning hub.

MSC Cruises isn’t the only cruise line cashing in on South Africans’ growing appetite for cruise holidays. The debut season of MSC Musica will coincide with the largest season of Cape Town cruises ever, with fourteen cruise lines sailing from the city.

And in next year’s 2019/2020 cruise season, some four cruise lines will be homeporting in the Mother City, including AIDA Cruises.

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