MSC Cruises – one of the leading global cruise lines - has confirmed that is bringing two ships to South Africa’s shores for the 2022/2023 cruise season.
This will mark the first time that two MSC Cruises ships of different classes - the MSC Orchestra, which is part of the Musica class ship; and MSC Sinfonia, which is part of the Lirica class ship - will be deployed in the country simultaneously. This will provide additional cruise capacity to cater for the growing demand for cruise holidays in South Africa.
The 2021/2022 local cruise season saw MSC Cruises carry more than 40 000 guests to various destinations with new health and safety regulations to ensure the safety of all guests. As the cruise company prepares for the 2022/2023 local cruise season, it is pleased to confirm that both unvaccinated and vaccinated guests are now able to cruise again. At present, MSC Cruises can also confirm that vaccinated guests are no longer required to provide a Covid-19 test before departure. Unvaccinated guests five years and older are still required to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test, 48 hours prior to departure.
Continued investment in Africa’s tourist industry
MSC Cruises’ plan to bring two ships to South Africa in 2022 is part of the company’s commitment to investing in African tourism. This investment has included infrastructure development in Mozambique, a popular cruising destination for South Africans, and continued collaboration with the Namibian government as Walvis Bay is one of the ports that MSC Cruises sails to. There are also knock-on benefits for the tourist industries in the destinations that MSC Cruises sails to, which have been enhanced by increased passenger volumes.
MSC Cruises’ commitment to improving South Africa’s tourist infrastructure has been particularly noteworthy in its development of the Durban port terminal over the past few years.
The R300-million terminal was designed, developed, constructed and financed by the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Consortium, in partnership with the South African chapter of MSC Cruises and empowerment investment entity, Africa Armada Consortium.
This project is a significant undertaking for the consortium and represents MSC Cruises’ commitment to the South African economy. The terminal will help promote the country’s image among cruise passengers and provide jobs to many citizens.
Pierfrancesco Vago, chairman of the Nelson Mandela Cruise Terminal and the executive chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, says: “South Africa is an important market for MSC Cruises and reflects our broader growing investment in cruising globally. We have committed to launching 13 next-generation ships between 2017 and 2027, which will bring our fleet total to 25 and see our passenger capacity more than triple. Our total investment in these ships amounts to approximately R200 billion.”
More itineraries offering more cruise holiday options for South Africans
MSC Orchestra, a vessel well-known by local cruisers, will return to South African waters in November 2022, with about 40 sailings to Mozambique and local destinations. Alongside MSC Orchestra is MSC Sinfonia, which will operate about 22 sailings out of Cape Town to Namibia and other various local destinations.
The itineraries will vary from two to seven-night cruises, offering guests a wider choice of options to book their cruise holiday. The ships will alternate routes, providing South African cruisers with a wider choice of options to suit their holiday needs with more cruise destinations and packages on offer. “We are delighted to be bringing two ships to South Africa this upcoming season, and we reaffirm our commitment to affordable and safe cruise holidays for South Africans,” says Ross Volk, MD for MSC Cruises South Africa. “Our dedication to playing our part in the recovery of the tourism sector in South Africa has made it possible for us to create a second cruising hub in Cape Town. MSC Sinfonia will be permanently positioned in Cape Town for the duration of the cruise season and will serve our guests seeking a more cultural experience with our cruises to Namibia. For guests wanting to explore more of our South African destinations we have cruises to Mossel Bay, and for guests simply wanting to take time to rest and relax, our ‘no-destination’ cruises at sea provide the perfect getaway to enjoy the Indian and Atlantic Ocean sunrises and sunsets,” adds Volk.
Cruises as popular holiday destinations
Cruises are increasingly becoming an appealing holiday choice for South Africans as a hassle-free, safe and all-inclusive vacation with food, accommodation and most activities included in the cruise fare. The diversity of the offerings appeals to holiday makers of all ages, local and international tourists alike. Guests wishing to experience the delights of an MSC Cruises holiday in the 2022/2023 season can already book any cruise on any of these two vessels.
“We continuously strive to bring bigger and better offerings to this country, enriching our itineraries and making cruising more accessible to more South Africans who are realising that a cruise is an affordable, convenient and exciting holiday option,” concludes Volk.
For more information on MSC Cruises, visit www.msccruises.co.za