Durban (South Africa)

Cruise Port schedule, live map, terminals, news

Durban cruise port

Africa - Indian Ocean Islands

Local Time
2023-10-03 12:45

min: 57 °F (14 °C) / max: 82 °F (28 °C) 76°F
Wind: 63°/ 5.1 m/s  Gust: 5.7 m/sWind: 63°/ 5.1 m/s  Gust: 5.7 m/sGentle breeze
5.1 m/s
Min / Max Temperature82 °F / 28 °C
57 °F / 14 °C
  Port Map

Port Durban is South Africa's largest and busiest seaport, while by population (around 0,6 million, metro around 3,5 million) the city is ranked the country's second-largest - after the capital Johannesburg (~0,96M) and followed by Cape Town (~0,45M). The cruise port is located on Natal Bay (Indian Ocean).

Cruise shipping companies often homeport in Durban large liners due to the city's great climate and amazing beaches. Durban is also often visited as call port on World Cruises or on ship relocation itineraries around Africa (Asia-Europe crossings omitting Suez Canal).

Port Durban (South Africa) cruise port

Port Durban

Port Durban (aka Durban Harbour) is Africa's 2nd largest cargo shipping terminal (Port Said, Egypt), with annual capacity 31,4 million cargo tons. The container port is ranked 4th largest in the Southern Hemisphere (after Jakarta Indonesia, Surabaya Indonesia, and Santos Brazil), with annual capacity 2,5+ million TEU-containers (statistical data 2012).

Port Durban (South Africa) cruise port

The port's entrance channel (from Chart Datum) has max depth 13 m / 42 ft and width (between the caissons) 122 m / 400 ft. The Port's approach channel / harbor entrance depth is 19 m / 62 ft, which decreases to 16 m / 53 ft within Durban Harbour.

The cargo port generates over 60% of South Africa's revenue. Its infrastructure features 302 km (188 mi) of rail tracks and a total 58 ship berths (managed by over 20 terminal operators). Annually, the seaport handles over 4500 commercial vessels. Durban Car Terminal (inaugurated in 1998) has annual capacity of 60,000 vehicles. In 2004, the terminal was expanded with a 380 m / 1247 ft long bridge connecting it with the quayside.

Each year, MSC Cruises homeports at least one ship in Durban during winter (November through April). For its Southern African winter season 2018-2019, MSC increased its passenger capacity and homeported in Durban the boats MSC Musica and MSC Sinfonia. The Port is also visited by smaller-sized luxury ships and superyachts, as well as by larger liners on World Cruise itineraries (like Cunard's RMS Queen Mary 2).

On Salisbury Island is located Naval Base Durban, which is also part of Port Durban. In 2012 the base's facilities were renovated and expanded. Here are homeported all South African Navy's offshore patrol vessels.

In 2012, the state-owned freight logistics company Transnet purchased for ZAR 1,8 billion (~USD 150 million) the old International Airport site located in KwaZulu-Natal. In April 2012, the company announced its plans for a dig-out port development project on the property. Phase 1 (completed in 2019) required an initial investment of ZAR 5 billion (~USD 400M) with the project's balance scheduled for completion by 2037. Transnet's phased development plans include the construction of 16 container ship berths, plus 5 automotive (RoRo ship) berths and 4 liquid-bulk cargo ship berths. The container terminals have total annual capacity 9,6 million TEUs.

Port Durban is operated/managed by TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority). This is Africa's largest port authority company that manages 7 large seaports in South Africa - Durban, Cape Town, Richards Bay, East London, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, and Saldanha.

Durban cruise terminal

Currently, cruise ship passengers may disembark at City Terminal (partially covered warehouse/operated by MSC) or at the new KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (2021-opened).

KwaZulu Terminal and City Terminal serve cruise vessels mainly during winter (between November-May).

Durban cruise port City Terminal

The downtown is within 10 minutes walking distance from the cruise port. Due to safety reasons is better to use taxis (available at the Port). King Shaka Airport (at La Mercy) is approx 30 km (19 mi) from the Port (direction north).

Port Durban map

(NEW) Durban Cruise Terminal KwaZulu-Natal

Port's development plan included the construction of a new (dedicated) cruise terminal at A-Berth (adjacent to Point Waterfront). In 2017, the private company "KwaZulu Cruise Terminal" (KCT) was announced as the preferred bidder for the 25-year concession project (until 2045). The tender for building a dedicated Durban Cruise Terminal was awarded to the private company KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Ltd - joint venture between MSC Cruises (70%) and Africa Armada Consortium (30%). The terminal has berthing capacity of 2 vessels docking simultaneously.

In April 2018, the project was officially started with TNPA signing an agreement with KCT Ltd for building the new, year-round passenger terminal. The facility was scheduled for completion in October 2020 and to be operational by January 2021. After the design phase (April thru December 2018) followed an 18-month construction phase (January 2019 thru July 2020).

On November 16, 2019, was held the ground-breaking ceremony with which MSC Group officially started the KCT Terminal's construction works. MSC also invested in a local development project by opening the Shosholoza Ocean Academy (in Durban) via partnership with South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry. The academy provides 3-month training courses for free. South Africans who successfully complete the course become eligible for MSC cruise ship employment.

KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Durban

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, Kwazulu Cruise Terminal was eventually rescheduled for inauguration on December 6, 2021, when started MSC Orchestra's homeporting for 2021-2022 winter season.

Note: The new passenger terminal KCT is not exclusive to MSC ships only.

Durban tours, shore excursions, hotels

City Tours and Shore Excursions

Ushaka Marine World: one of the largest aquariums in the world. It is located on the south beach of Durban. It is great place for fun and education. There is a shipwreck-themed aquarium, the largest dolphin stadium in Africa (with 1200 seats), penguin rookery, touch pool and snorkel reef.

The Botanic Gardens of Durban: this is the longest surviving garden in Africa and the oldest public institution in Durban. The attraction is visited by 0,5+ million people annually. The visitors can see typical plants and arboretum with mixed trees from America, Asia and Africa.

The Natural Science Museum of Durban: the museum is one of the most visited ones in Africa. The Durban Natural Science Museum displays the heritage of the area and in the world in general. The visitors can see a dinosaur in its real size and educate at the interactive KwaZulu-Natal Science Centre.

Beaches: the amazing beaches of Durban are popular with the name ”Durban’s Golden Mile.” They are beautiful, clean with golden sands and endless sun. The area offers facilities including fast food, changing rooms, lifeguards and shark nets.

At Victoria Indian Street Market tourists can discover the atmosphere of the Indians with temples, mosques, traditional food, shops.

Umgeni River Bird Park: the park is home to 3000+ types of exotic birds. You will also see four amazing waterfalls.

Port Durban cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Durban, South Africa. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

11 November, 2023
Mystic Cruises Cruises cruise lineCMV Vasco da Gama-Nicko07:0022:00
22 November, 2023
Holland America Cruises cruise linems Zuiderdam11:0020:00
23 November, 2023
MSC Cruises Cruises cruise lineMSC Splendida07:00
24 November, 2023
MSC Cruises Cruises cruise lineMSC Splendida20:00
26 November, 2023
MSC Cruises Cruises cruise lineMSC Splendida07:0020:00

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