SA Cruise News

Viking Sun ends South African cruise season with inaugural visit to country

And that’s a wrap (almost) for the 2018/2019 South African cruise season. Viking Sun, sailing her first ever cruise from South Africa (and marking the only non-MSC cruise of the year from Durban), is the penultimate of this season’s cruises to sail from the country.

Viking Sun departed Durban on April 13th on a 29-night grand voyage to London. She visited Port Elizabeth, East London and Cape Town along the way, leaving South African waters on April 19th. Her cruise was special because it was not only the first visit of Viking Sun to the country, but also the first ever for Viking Ocean Cruises itself.

Viking Sun at the N-Shed passenger terminal in Durban

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“Receiving an award-winning cruise ship of Viking Sun’s stature at the Port of Durban is another feather in our cap,” said Acting Durban Port Manager, Nokuzola Nkowane.

“This affirms the port and the City of Durban as a cruise destination of choice, as reflected in our nomination once again this year as a finalist in the World Travel Awards category of Africa’s Leading Cruise Port,” Nkowane added.

The aft infinity pool aboard Viking Sun

Viking Sun was also the only non-MSC cruise ship to depart from Durban during the year. While MSC Musica has sailed a hugely successful South African season from the city, Durban is actively looking to encourage more cruise lines to use it as a turnaround port.

When Viking Sun departed from Cape Town last week, after sharing the port with Silver Whisper of Silversea Cruises, she ended the Mother City’s cruise season. No more cruise ships will sail from the city until October 22nd, 2019, when Albatros of Phoenix Reisen departs on her 16-night cruise to Mahe, Seychelles.

Viking Sun docked in Cape Town

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Transnet Cape Town port manager Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana said: “As the Port of Cape Town, we are proud to be attracting growing numbers of tourists to our beautiful city.”

“Through the V&A Waterfront, our port is developing a world-class passenger terminal that will continue to gain the attention of leading cruise line companies like Viking Ocean Cruises,” Dweba-Kwetana added.

In fact, the coming cruise season is set to be the busiest on record for the country, with more cruise lines than ever homeporting in Cape Town. For now, only MSC Cruises will be homeporting in Durban.

In Durban, MSC Musica will continue her South African cruise season until April 26th, when she will depart on her 24-night repositioning cruise to Venice. This will be MSC Musica’s final Durban departure for the foreseeable future, as she will be replaced next year by sister ship MSC Orchestra.

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