The world's 3rd-largest cruise shipowner MSC restarts South African operations on December 6th from homeport Durban.
The green light followed approvals from the government to resume ocean cruises with passengers onboard after a 21-month hiatus caused by the global COVID crisis.
MSC Orchestra is scheduled to be homeported at Durban's new KwaZulu Cruise Terminal to be inaugurated in December for the winter 2021-2022 season, as well as embarking guests in Cape Town. The boat has scheduled 41 voyages (thru May 11, 2022) around South Africa and Mozambique.
MSC Orchestra has recently undergone a drydock refurbishment and replaces MSC Musica which was earmarked for South Africa during the upcoming season.
MSC has pioneered the cruise industry’s restart following the global shut down in March 2020 with passenger shipping around Europe, the UK, and now in South Africa. MSC has led the way as the first major line to operate in the Middle East and plans to restart operations in November in South America. MSC is also already operating cruises in the Caribbean out of the USA.
MSC is now waiting for the relevant authorities in South Africa to issue details of their health & safety guidelines that can be built into its own protocol.
MSC was the world's first major cruise shipping company to restart operations in August 2020, with MSC Grandiosa in the Mediterranean.
The restart was achieved due to the application of MSC’s health & safety protocol (to be implemented in South Africa) developed with the support of international medical experts, and working in collaboration with local and national authorities in the countries where the line's ships operate.