SA Cruise News

More than half of all cruises from Cape Town for 2021 are roundtrip itineraries

The South African cruise sector looks set to have a strong rebound from the Coronavirus pandemic, based on 2021 cruise itineraries released by mainstream cruise lines.

According to forward-looking itineraries, more than half of all the cruises departing from the country’s primary cruise port, Cape Town, will be roundtrip itineraries, and for once MSC Cruises (as much as we love it) doesn’t account for the majority of them.

Viking Sun docked in Cape Town

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Overlapping with the tail-end of the 2020/21 cruise season and the begining of the 2021/22 cruise season, there are a total of 49 roundtrip cruises from Cape Town next year, and 81 cruises in total.

While MSC Cruises will of course be returning to the country for its annual Cape Town and Durban cruises, it will be doing so in style next year with two ships homeporting in South Africa for the first time since the 2000s.

MSC Musica will homeport in Durban between November, 2020 and April, 2021, while MSC Opera (a sister ship to MSC Lirica) will homeport in Cape Town, cruising from the city 11 times on a mix of 2-, 4- and 5-night cruises, visiting Namibia.

Given the current global cruise lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it isn’t clear yet whether MSC Cruises will be able to stick to these plans, but the cruises currently remain on sale on its website.

Also returning to Cape Town for another cruise season will be AIDAmira, after her maiden season in the city was cut short this year. She’ll sail sixteen 14-night Cape Town to Cape Town cruises visiting all the major cruise ports in SA and Namibia.

Reassuringly, AIDA Cruises has confirmed AIDAmira for next year’s cruise season as well (2021/22), with her sailing the same itineraries between November, 2021 and March, 2022.

Another German cruise line, TUI Cruises, is competing directly with AIDA in the South African market with their similarly-sized ship Mein Schiff Herz, formerly the Celebrity Mercury.

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Like AIDAmira, Mein Schiff Herz will cruise 14-night voyages from Cape Town with an almost identical itinerary. She’ll sail these cruises 12 times between November, 2020 and February, 2021.

Another very exciting new addition to the 2021/22 line-up in Cape Town is Norwegian Cruise Line, which will homeport Norwegian Jade in the city for three 12-night roundtrip cruises between December, 2021 and January, 2022.

Oceania Cruises‘ little cruise ship Nautica will cruise three times from Cape Town in 2021, two of which will be roundtrip itineraries of 14-nights (on January 5th and 19th). These cruises will also visit South Africa’s main cruise ports, as well as Namibia and Mozambique.

Azamara Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises are two luxury cruise lines that will also be homeporting in Cape Town for the 2021 cruise season, with Azamara Journey and Seven Seas Voyager both cruising roundtrip from the city twice.

Azamara Journey will have nine of these itineraries between December, 2020 and March, 2021, all of them 10-, 12 or 15-nights, visiting South Africa’s main cruise ports, as well as Mozambique and Namibia.

Seven Seas Voyager on the other hand will operate just two 14-night roundtrip Cape Town cruises in December, 2021, repeating the same itineraries it is due to sail this year in December.

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