The MSC Sinfonia circling around Cape Town harbour. Picture: Ian Landsberg

Cape Town - Sea-stranded passengers aboard the MSC Sinfonia finally disembarked at Cape Town harbour on Tuesday – 24 hours later than planned, thanks to a gale-force Cape Doctor.

The three-storey vessel was due to have docked at 8am on Monday after its return voyage from Mossel Bay, but south-easterly winds kept it at sea throughout the day.

At about 8am on Tuesday, the company advised that the harbour pilot had been sent to the cruise ship and it began its entry into the port shortly thereafter.

By 8.30am, passengers and luggage had made it on to land.

Passengers booked on the next three-night cruise to Mossel Bay were expected to start embarkation late this morning. The company said the vessel was in no immediate danger while it was at sea waiting for the wind to subside.

l Transnet has given the go-ahead for a dedicated berthing terminal for cruise liners in Table Bay Harbour.

Ports authority spokesman Coen Birkenstock said the new terminal would be completed within the next two years and would feature an arrivals and departures facility and restrooms.

From next month, the authority would finalise the process of identifying suitable investors and operators.

Birkenstock said it could encourage more international cruise liner operators to include Cape Town on their itineraries.

– Cape Argus - Sapa