MSC Cruises pushing for 2020/2021 cruise season
Will the 2020/2021 South African cruise season go ahead as normal? Well, with the cruise ship ban by Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula, it is unclear whether travellers will set sail anytime soon.
The cruise season normally starts mid-November and runs until April. MSC Cruises South Africa is pushing for the upcoming cruise season and are currently in talks with the South African government.
As some will recall, Mbalula said cruise ships were prohibited from calling at any of the South African sea ports, except for the disembarkation of returning South African crew, South African citizens or holders of South African permanent residence permits.
"Passenger ships are allowed to call at any South African sea port only for the disembarking returning South African citizens and holders of South African permanent residence permits, replenishing fuel, stores and provisions, medical evacuation and search and rescue," he revealed in a recent briefing.
However, Ross Volk, Managing Director, MSC Cruises South Africa, is hoping that he can persuade government to give the go-ahead for the upcoming cruise season.
"MSC Cruises South Africa is in deep consultation with the government and a range of regulatory authorities to hopefully allow us to sail a proposed upcoming 2020/21 cruise season. We hope to receive confirmation shortly that our local season will proceed as proposed following approval from the government.
"We have presented a new comprehensive health and safety proposal to regulators, port officials and a range of other relevant authorities that demonstrates the wellbeing of South African guests, crew on board and the destinations that MSC Cruises South Africa would like to safely visit in the weeks and months ahead.
“The protocol mirrors the safe and effective return to sea in mid-August when the Company’s flagship MSC Grandiosa resumed cruises in the Mediterranean and has since witnessed more than 16,000 guests experience a safe, relaxing and enjoyable holiday with MSC Cruises," he said.