Durban, an already popular tourist destination, sitting in South Africa’s third largest municipality, has two new ways of boosting travel through its borders.
Managing Director of MSC Cruises South Africa, Ross Volk recently revealed that MSC Cruises will begin building its Durban Cruise Terminal in November. The terminal will eventually be 4516 square metres in size.
The news was confirmed at an exclusive media launch held at MSC Cruises head office in Sandton on 20 August. The new R200 million cruise terminal at South Africa’s busiest cruise port is due to be completed in 2021.
“MSC Cruises is committed to growing the cruise tourism sector in the country and Africa at large. We are investing heavily in infrastructure as well as training, which includes the new Durban Cruise Terminal that will also house the MSC Shosholoza Ocean Academy,” Volk said.
He added that the multi-user terminal will make Durban an even more desirable destination for cruise ships from all over the world.
“It will substantially boost tourism numbers, create thousands of jobs and lead to supplier development. The construction of this state-of-the-art terminal is an exciting project that MSC Cruises is proud to be a part of. The design phase took a little longer than we anticipated, but it was vital that we got this right as we want the Durban Cruise Terminal to be an iconic destination,” he said.
According to Tourism Update, the MSC Cruises fleet currently comprises 16 ultra-modern, innovative and elegantly designed ships.
It is said to be the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and the number-one cruise line in South Africa, Europe, South America, and the Gulf. The company reportedly achieved 800% growth in its first 10 years, building a global reputation in the industry and one of the youngest cruise fleets at sea.
At the media launch, Angelo Capurro, the group’s Global Executive Director also said that South Africa is an important market for MSC Cruises and reflects its broader growing investment in cruising globally.
“In fact, in South Africa for the next cruise season starting in December, we will have two ships operating. The bigger MSC Musica with the capacity to carry 3 200 guests will be homeported in Durban, while MSC Opera will be homeported in Cape Town and have a capacity for around 2 500,” Capurro stated.
Intercoach has announced they are now running a route from Durban to Mozambique. With no direct flights between the two locations, it’s often an awkard transfer at Johannesburg that has to facilitate those who travel by air. But last year, things got a little easier on this commute.
The Maputo-Catembe Bridge was inaugurated by the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, on Saturday 10 November 2018. The three-kilometre-long suspension bridge, which extends 680 metres over Maputo Bay, has been lauded as a Southern Africa’s latest and greatest engineering feat, giving SA a direct route to the capital city of Maputo.
With this bridge now in place, it have shaved hours off of the journey time. And Intercape are ready to pounce upon the opportunity. Here’s everything you need to know about the new service.
Return tickets are around R600, which is multiple times cheaper than a flight. The trip takes 9.5 hours, has 12 stops, and officially opens on 6 September.
Four hours into the journey, passengers can grab refreshments and stretch their legs at the Hluhluwe PetroPort, before embarking on the remaining five-hour trek.
Border crossings, meanwhile, will take around 40 minutes. It’s essential you have the correct travel documents and your passport with you, in order to make any inspections run as smoothly as possible. You can no longer buy a visa on the Mozambique border, and travellers will have to sort theirs before departing.
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