Cape Town looks set for a busy 2022/23 cruise season, with seven cruise ships homeporting in the city for all or part of the cruise season, which runs from October, 2022 to March, 2023.
This coming cruise season will see Norwegian Jade returning, after Norwegian Cruise Line last year was forced to cancel the season due to Omicron, while MSC Cruises will also be doubling up in the city with both MSC Sinfonia and MSC Orchestra.
MSC Cruises has planned to deploy two ships to South Africa during the 2021/22 cruise season, but cancelled MSC Sinfonia’s scheduled roundtrip cruises from Cape Town after the Omicron variant was reported. Instead, they only sent MSC Orchestra to sail roundtrip from Durban.
MSC was the only cruise line to retain any of their scheduled roundtrip cruises from South Africa during the previous cruise season. The German cruise line AIDA had intended to send its new ship AIDAmira to South Africa, but also cancelled, and then later sold the ship.
AIDAaura will pick up her intended South African itineraries this year.
Major cruise lines are coming back to the country in force then, but AIDAaura, MSC Orchestra, MSC Sinfonia and Norwegian Jade are the only four of the seven cruise ships that are mass market cruise lines, the other three (Azamara Journey, Nautica, and Seven Seas Voyager) are luxury lines.
AIDAaura of AIDA Cruises will kick off the cruise season, with her first roundtrip cruise from Cape Town scheduled for November 14th, 2022. She’ll sail 8 of these 14-night itineraries until February 20th, 2023. Each cruise visits Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Richard’s Bay, Durban, and East London in South Africa, as well as Luderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia.
MSC Sinfonia arrives next, sailing her first cruise of the season on December 16th, 2022. She’ll sail 22 roundtrip Cape Town itineraries of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 nights, until March 10th, 2023. The 2-night cruises are booze cruises to nowhere, while her 3-night voyages will visit Mossel Bay, and the 4- and 5-night cruises will call in Walvis Bay, Namibia. The 7-night cruise, the only one of the season, departs December 27th and calls in Walvis Bay and Luderitz in Namibia.
Azamara Journey will join AIDAaura and MSC Sinfonia cruising from Cape Town on December 20th, 2022. She’ll sail 8 roundtrip cruises from Cape Town, all of them 12 nights in length, visiting Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Richard’s Bay, and Durban in South Africa, as well as Maputo in Mozambique.
Norwegian Jade will make her South African debut on December 21st, 2022, finally sailing a South African cruise season that was announced back in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic upended everything. Norwegian Jade was pulled from the 2020/21 cruise season due to the initial COVID pandemic, and then again in 2021/22 due to the Omicron variant, so let’s hope there are no disruptions to plans for her 2022/23 program out of Cape Town.
Norwegian Jade will sail three 12-night roundtrip cruises from Cape Town, each of them visiting Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, Richard’s Bay, and Durban in South Africa, as well as Luderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia. She’ll sail her final cruise from Cape Town on January 26th, 2023, an 18-night repositioning to Dubai.
Nautica of Oceania Cruises will only dip her toes in the waters of the South African cruise season this year, with a single 12-night roundtrip cruise from Cape Town on January 6th, 2023. She’ll visit Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Richard’s Bay, and Mossel Bay in South Africa, as well as Walvis Bay in Namibia before repositioning to Mumbai on January 18th.
Seven Seas Voyager of Regent Seven Seas Cruises will also only be sailing a short South African cruise season, with just two roundtrip cruises on December 6th and 12st, but they’re both 15-night itineraries, visiting Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Richard’s Bay, and Mossel Bay in South Africa, as well as Walvis Bay, in Namibia, and Maputo in Mozambique.
Last, but not least, is MSC Orchestra. She’ll be spending the majority of her November to March cruise season sailing roundtrip from Durban to destinations in the Indian Ocean, but will also be cruising down the Wild Coast to the ‘Mother City’ to sail three roundtrip Cape Town voyages.
MSC Orchestra will sail two 4-night cruises (on April 3rd and 7th), visiting Walvis Bay in Namibia, as well as a 2-night cruise to nowhere on April 15th. She’ll then depart Cape Town on April 17th for her 27-night repositioning voyage to Civitavecchia (Rome).