SA Cruise News

MSC responds to Steve Hoffmeyer criticism after he was dropped from theme cruise

MSC Cruises South Africa has released a statement insisting it was not behind the decision to remove South African musician Steve Hofmeyr from an upcoming themed cruise aboard MSC Sinfonia.

Steve Hofmeyr, an Afrikaans singer known for his racially divisive statements, said in a recent Facebook video that the cruise line had sided with “woke snowflakes” and “left-wing radicals” over the thousands of people like him who have supported the cruise line for years.

He made the comments in a wide-ranging Facebook video in Afrikaans, in which he also commented on the recent State of the Nation address by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ongoing farm murders crisis in the country.

Thango Gombiza, MSC Cruises spokesperson, confirmed that Hofmeyr had been removed from the artist line-up for next week’s Kappityt Festival taking place aboard the MSC Sinfonia, but insisted the decision was made solely by the event organiser, which is handling all aspects of onboard entertainment.

Frans Swart, managing director of Lefra Productions, the event organiser, told News24 that they “had to relieve Hofmeyr from his performance on the Kappityt Festival as a result of business and contractual agreements.”

“We want to sincerely apologise to all Hofmeyr’s fans but want to assure them that Lefra Productions has introduced new artists to its line-up to ensure a great cruise experience with excellent entertainment,” he added.

Gombiza added that Hofmeyr is being paid his full performance fee by the organiser, and was offered the option of performing ashore in Walvis Bay, Namibia, rather than during the cruise on the ship.

Hofmeyr reportedly decline this offer, and in his Facebook video hit out at MSC Cruises, saying it was favouring left-wing activists.

“MSC Cruises had to choose between their left-wing activist in Amsterdam and thousands of people – you who had booked a ticket, and people like me who’ve filled their ships for 10 years. They chose the woke snowflake,” Hofmeyr said.

 “I will never climb on one of their ships again, I don’t care what they offer,” he added.

According to Gombiza, the line-up change was “done in accordance with our contract in place with the third-party organiser, which requires that they comply with MSC Cruises’ values and standards,” which suggests the cruise line may have had some involvement after all.

MSC Sinfonia is home-porting in Cape Town for the current season

MSC Sinfonia is one of two MSC cruise ships homeporting in South Africa for the current 2022/23 cruise season. She is based in Cape Town, sailing roundtrip cruises to Walvis Bay in Namibia and Mossel Bay in South Africa.

MSC Orchestra, a slightly larger ship, is homeporting in Durban, sailing roundtrip cruises to Portuguese Island and Pomene in Mozambique.

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