SA Cruise News

MSC Cruises to homeport two classes of ships in South Africa for first time

MSC Cruises will homeport two different classes of cruise ships in South Africa for the first time during the 2020/21 cruise season, it has been announced.

The major development for the South African cruise market was announced by Ross Volk, managing director for MSC Cruises South Africa, who said the decision was in response to rampant demand from the South African source market.

MSC Opera is one of MSC Cruises’ four Lirica-class cruise ships

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

RELATED: MSC Cruises adds Pomene Bay in Mozambique to South African cruise itineraries

“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,” he said.

“As such, it is also as a further sign of MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to this key market and its tourism,” Volk added.

MSC Cruises will be sending MSC Musica as well as MSC Opera (a sister ship to MSC Lirica) to South Africa to cruise roundtrip from Durban and Cape Town between November, 2020 and March, 2021.

MSC Opera is of the Lirica class ships and therefore similar to Sinfonia, which previously homeported in SA

The Lirica-class MSC Opera will homeport in Cape Town from December, while the larger Musica-class MSC Musica will homeport in Durban, according to the cruise line.

The two ships will offer 60 different cruise itineraries on the west and east coasts of Southern Africa.

MSC Musica will cruise roundtrip from Durban to Pomene Bay in Mozambique, a marine safari experience, and, Portuguese Island, a small, uninhabited island set between the African coast and the Indian Ocean, as well as Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.

MSC Opera will offer cruises from Cape Town visiting Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Walvis Bay in Namibia.

MSC Cruises will homeport Musica in Durban alongside MSC Opera in Cape Town

RELATED: MSC Cruises to replace Musica with Orchestra for 2019/2020 South African cruise season

RELATED: MSC must be praised for investment in cruising in SA says Durban port manager

MSC Opera was completely refurbished in 2014 as part of MSC Cruises’ Renaissance Programme, like MSC Sinfonia (her sister ship) she is now larger, with more cabins and public spaces.

The two ships will offer alternate routes, providing South African cruise passengers with what they have long been asking for – more variety in the cruise itineraries offered from Durban and Cape Town.

Pomene Bay in Mozambique was added to MSC’s South African cruise itineraries in 2017

It is also a major commitment by MSC Cruises to the local market, and if it pays off, may prompt other mainstream cruise lines to consider homeporting in the country, offering cruises tailored to the local market.

While AIDA Cruises and TUI Cruises have both recently announced their first ever South African seasons in Cape Town, both cruise lines are German and cater almost exclusively to the German cruise market.

Guests wishing to explore South Africa by cruise already in the 2019/2020 season can book onto MSC Orchestra. She will make her maiden voyage there this November, offering three-, four-, five- and 11-night sailings out of Durban and around the South African coastline until April 2020.

Leave a Reply