DURBAN, South Africa, 8 November 2018 – MSC Cruises celebrated the arrival of MSC Musica in Durban yesterday by hosting media, travel agents and distinguished guests for an overnight experience onboard prior to the start of her seasonal tour in South African waters today.
As part of the media retinue, TourismTattler joined almost 1500 guests who were treated to a lavish gala dinner on board, followed by an awe-inspiring show in the ship’s 1200-seater theatre, and entertainment by SA acts, Jeremy Loops and Mi Casa.
Guests flying into King Shaka International Airport from around the country were welcomed by MSC staff on arrival and efficiently transported by coach to Durban harbours’ N-Shed cruise terminal facility. MSC Cruises had gone to considerable effort to make the boarding procedure as pleasant as possible, with live jazz music and body-painted models setting the theme. Unfortunately, boarding is still a chaotic experience. Despite the fact that the preferred bidder for the new Durban Cruise Terminal construction had been announced on 30 May 2017, there is still no evidence of construction being underway.
Ross Volk, Managing Director for MSC Cruises South Africa, mentioned this in his speech to guests, saying: “As well as welcoming MSC Musica to our shores, we will also be building an R200-million cruise terminal at the Port of Durban as part of the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) consortium. MSC Cruises will also be opening a hospitality school in the Durban Harbour in the near future, which will train young South Africans who are keen to be part of the hospitality industry. We have also invested heavily in the broader Southern Africa region, by growing tourism and small businesses in Mozambique’s Pomene Bay and Portuguese Island. In addition, in November next year, we are looking forward to welcoming the MSC Orchestra to Durban for the very first time for the 2019/2020 cruise season.”
MSC Musica has a passenger capacity of 3223, which is around 550 more than her predecessor MSC Sinfonia, the ship that served South Africans on her many tours in the region over the past few years, and MSC Opera prior to that. Over 16 decks, MSC Musica offers something for everyone.
Dining options include a á la carte Italian seafood and steakhouse restaurant, an authentic Japanese sushi bar, two formal dining rooms, and an all-day world cuisine buffet and pizzeria. On the activity side, MSC Musica offers mini golf, tennis, basketball, virtual games, bowling lanes, children’s activity clubs, a gym, a power walking track, and a Balinese spa. MSC Musica also has exciting nightlife, boasting a casino, bars, dance floors, a cigar lounge and a wine tasting bar.
“MSC Cruises is thrilled to celebrate the arrival of this elegant lady to our shores to mark the start of her six-month seasonal tour in the region,” said Volk. “This is further proof of our dedication to the South African cruising market, which continues to grow in popularity, thanks to the luxurious yet affordable holiday that cruising offers the whole family. MSC Musica promises an unparalleled cruise experience – from delicious food to exciting
Angelo Capurro, MSC Cruises’ Commercial Executive Director for Emerging Markets and South Africa, commented on how MSC Cruises’ growth in South Africa reflects its global expansion, “In the past 18 months, MSC Cruises has christened three ultra-modern ships– MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview – as part of the commitment we made to construct 17 ultra-modern ships by 2027, which will bring our fleet total to 29 and see our passenger capacity more than triple. In our quest to offer our guests the ultimate cruising experience, MSC Cruises’ total investment in constructing these ships will be around R220 billion.”
Certainly, no expense has been spared in the fitting of MSC Musica. The rooms are as spacious as most onshore hotel rooms, with incredibly comfortable double beds. The Air-conditioned balcony rooms range in size from 20 to 32 sq.m and facilities include a bathroom with shower, wardrobe, interactive TV, telephone, wireless internet access (for a fee), a fully stocked mini bar (with price list), and a safe. There are also 17 cabins for guests with disabilities or reduced mobility, which only have single beds. In all, there are 1,275 cabins.
A 5-day cruise from Durban to Mozambiques Portuguese Sialn *Unhaca Archipelago) starts at around R6,350 for a balcony room (per person based on double occupancy) but you had best book early as they’re booking up fast.
For more information on MSC Musica’s 2018/2019 season, visit www.msccruises.co.za.