MSC Cruises has released new renderings of its planned R200-million dedicated cruise terminal for Durban, where it homeports annually for the winter season.
The release of the new images coincide with the cruise line’s recent announcement that it will be homeporting two classes of cruise ship in South Africa simultaneously for the first time ever next year.
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“This multi-user terminal will make Durban an even more desirable destination for cruise ships from all over the world,” said Ross Volk, MD for MSC Cruises South Africa, adding that the decision to invest in the cruise terminal, and bring two ships to SA was driven by “significant growth” in demand.
Cruises are increasingly becoming an appealing holiday choice for South Africans as they offer an affordable all-inclusive vacation, he said.
The new Durban Cruise Terminal will be built by the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Consortium (KTC) and ground-breaking is scheduled for November this year.
“All the partners in the initiative will shortly sign off the final design of the terminal and ground-breaking is scheduled to begin in November this year,” said Volk.
He attributed the delay to the design phase taking a little longer than first anticipated. The cruise terminal is now expected to be operational by January 2021.
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The new cruise terminal will greatly enhance the appeal of Durban as a cruise destination and a homeport for cruise ships, replacing the outdated N-Shed Passenger Terminal that cruise lines have been forced to use since the 1980s, when cruising in South Africa first caught on.
The Durban Cruise Terminal is destined to be used by the 3,200-passenger MSC Musica, the ship MSC plans to homeport in South Africa for the 2020/21 cruise season, while MSC Opera, a smaller 2,500-passenger Lirica-class ship, will homeport in January during the same period.
MSC Cruises is also in talks with Cape Town authorities to improve traffic flow from Cape Town’s harbour terminal entrance, located in the V&A Waterfront.
“The terminal is the visitor’s first introduction to the city, and an opportunity is to create a positive impression of Cape Town and South Africa,” says Donald Kau, a V&A spokesperson.
“To that end, all stakeholders have a role to play and considerations are focused on how to plan for and manage traffic access on cruise dates and improved scheduling for disembarkation and boarding.”
“That will be the focus going forward ahead of what is confirmed to be increased visitor numbers for the start of the season in October this year,” he added.
Categories: SA Cruise News
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