SA Cruise News

TUI releases itineraries for Mein Schiff Herz’ roundtrip Cape Town season in 2020/21

TUI Cruises have revealed the itineraries for Mein Schiff Herz’ inaugural cruise season in South Africa, and it’s one of the most unusual of all the cruise ships homeporting in Cape Town.

While Azamara Journey, AIDAmira, Seven Seas Voyager, and Oceania’s Nautica will all sail roundtrip Cape Town cruises that dot along the South African coast, visiting the country’s most popular cruise ports, Mein Schiff Herz features a pared-down itinerary with fewer ports and lots of overnights.

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mein schiff herz will be one of the largest cruise ships sailing roundtrip from cape town

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The ship, which was formerly the Mein Schiff 2 before being refurbished and renamed for her first ever South African season, will cruise roundtrip from Cape Town on 14-night cruises between early December and late February.

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She’ll spend the first night of the cruise in port in Cape Town, departing the following day at 7pm for Port Elizabeth. After spending two nights and a day at sea, she’ll spend the night in Port Elizabeth before returning to Cape Town and again spending the night in port.

It’s then a full two days and three nights at sea as she cruises for Walvis Bay, again spending the night in port, before returning to Cape Town to spend (you guessed it) the final night of the cruise in port.

This will not only be Mein Schiff Herz’ first ever cruise season in South Africa, but TUI’s first time cruising from the country at all (let alone homeporting in it), and is an example of the ‘build it and they will come’ approach to cruise infrastructure.

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After redeveloping the Cape Town Cruise Terminal, more cruise lines than ever before have committed to homeporting in the city for the 2020/21 cruise season.

“We’re seeing cruising growing in popularity… in local cruising along our coast, as well as increased numbers of international operators using Cape Town as a turn-around port,” Beverley Schäfer, Economic Opportunities MEC in the Western Cape, said earlier this year.

“Confirmed cruises for the next few years have also shown real growth and we are very positive about the potential of this industry,” she added. “The development of a dedicated cruise ship terminal operated by the V&A Waterfront and opened last year has played an important role.”

German cruise lines in particular have shown a significant and sudden interest in cruising in South Africa. In addition to Mein Schiff Herz, AIDA Cruises will also be homeporting its new ship AIDAmira in Cape Town during the same season.

AIDAmira is new the AIDA fleet, but was purchased second-hand from Costa Cruises, for which she sailed as the Costa neoRiviera.

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