With South Africa now under level one of the COVID-19 lockdown, the number of infections declining and the vaccination drive in full swing, MSC Cruises has announced it will resume its South African sailings on 6 December 2021.
MSC Orchestra, a popular ship for South African holidaymakers, will homeport in Durban and Cape Town for the local 2021/22 season and offer 2, 3, 4 and 7-night voyages up to 11 May 2022.
The vessel has recently undergone a major refurbishment programme and replaces the MSC Musica that was originally earmarked for South Africa in the upcoming cruise season.
MSC Orchestra will welcome guests on a total of 41 local cruises from both Durban – with embarkation at the soon to be inaugurated KwaZulu Natal terminal – and Cape Town including Pomene Bay in Mozambique, Portuguese Island and other destinations in Southern Africa.
MSC Cruises says it plans to implement stringent health and safety measures on board MSC Orchestra and all destinations that the ship will call.
Ross Volk, Managing Director, MSC Cruises South Africa, says they are now eagerly awaiting the relevant authorities in South Africa to issue specifics of their health and safety guidelines which can be built into its own protocol, as required.
“We are delighted to have received confirmation and approval from the government that cruising and with it our local season can proceed. I believe that our return to sailing will provide a welcome boost to the South African economy in terms of direct and indirect employment, as well as offering safe and relaxing cruise holidays.”
MSC Cruises currently plans to welcome on board both guests who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as well as unvaccinated, but will amend its position subject to the requirements of either the South African government or any of the other countries that MSC Orchestra is set to visit during the season.
All passengers – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – will be required to take a COVID-19 RT-PCR test within 72 hours of their cruise departure and provide proof of a negative result in order to board.
Unvaccinated guests over the age of 18 years will additionally have to undergo an antigen lateral flow test at the embarkation port costing R300 per person.
For further details visit the MSC Cruises website at www.msccruises.co.za