SA Cruise News

Passengers boarding MSC Musica in Durban report much faster embarkation process

Anecdotal reports from the first passengers taking a cruise from Durban aboard the new SA-based cruise ship MSC Musica indicate that wait times at the N-Shed terminal for boarding have been reduced to less than half an hour, compared to the two hours or more that was common during MSC Sinfonia’s season.

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Since MSC Musica debuted in South Africa earlier this month, the feedback on social media has been uniformly positive, with cruisers praising the ship’s staff, design and entertainment.

Cruise Arabia & Africa spoke to Ross Volk, Managing Director at MSC Cruises South Africa, who said that the cruise line had invested in training and stakeholder engagement at a local level to prepare for the arrival of the larger cruise ship.

“MSC Cruises takes guest feedback very seriously, as we are always looking for ways to enhance our service offering,” he said. “We want to ensure that each one of our guests has a world-class travelling experience from the moment they arrive at the port to start their cruise until they disembark on the last day of their holiday.”

“One of the ways MSC Cruises achieves this is by working closely with relevant stakeholders, such as the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and customs, where we are involved in ongoing training and development of customs staff,” he added.

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MSC Musica is the largest cruise ship ever to homeport in Durban.

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It was this that had the greatest impact on the shorter turnaround times for passengers boarding and disembarking the ship, which carries a similar number of passengers to the post-refit MSC Sinfonia. It was Sinfonia’s last season in South Africa, after her passenger capacity was significantly increased, that complaints about wait times for boarding emerged.

“We are all committed to offering cruise passengers a seamless, efficient, and above all enjoyable travel experience,” says Volk.

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MSC Cruises’ efforts at the N-Shed Terminal will come to full fruition in the coming years when the new KwaZulu Cruise Terminal is launched near the Durban waterfront. The modern, purpose-built facility will be capable of processing even larger cruise ships much faster.

“An important aspect of this is through the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT)’s R200-million investment in a new cruise terminal in Durban, which MSC Cruises is part of,” adds Volk.

“With this investment, KCT will set a new standard for the South African hospitality sector in general, and not just the cruise line industry. MSC Cruises is committed to fostering an impeccable service industry for South Africa that will also create long-term sustainable economic growth for our country,” he added.

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