Popular cruise ship, MSC SINFONIA, made her final call to the Port of Durban on Friday, 20 April, after more than 260 visits over the past nine years. She has used Durban as a home port for several years, with calls to Cape Town and other regional ports, but will be replaced in the 2018/19 season by a larger MSC passenger liner, the MSC MUSICA.

MSC SINFONIA was built in 2002 in France. Boasting 980 cabins, the ship has been a firm favourite among tourists during Durban’s annual cruise season. The 2011/2012 season was her busiest, with 48 calls and 189 265 passengers.

Her multi-million Euro revamp in 2015 increased her length by 24 metres and meant that she had to be accommodated at the Point and Leisure Precinct’s longer M-berth instead of the port’s N Shed cruise terminal.

The refurbishment allowed MSC SINFONIA to offer local tourists more balcony cabins, a greater choice of dining options, dedicated areas for children, larger open spaces and a specially designed disembarkation bay for zodiac landings. She also boasts a fantastic new Spray Park – a fun-packed wet zone with interactive jets, slides and ingenious water features.

Captain Alex Miya (left), Transnet National Ports Authority’s Harbour Master at the Port of Durban, presents a gift to the Captain of MSC SINFONIA.
Captain Alex Miya (left), Transnet National Ports Authority’s Harbour Master at the Port of Durban, presents a gift to Captain Ciro Pinto of MSC SINFONIA.

At a farewell gathering hosted by Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA), Acting Port Manager at the Port of Durban, Nokuzola Nkowane thanked MSC Cruises for supporting local cruise tourism development by bringing exceptional cruise ships like MSC SINFONIA to Durban’s shores over the years. MSC Cruises had also partnered with TNPA to transform the port’s N-Shed facility into one more welcoming to domestic and international tourists.

“A cruise on the iconic MSC SINFONIA was a magical, memorable voyage to be treasured for life. While we are going to miss welcoming SINFONIA to our port in the coming years, it has been great to see MSC introduce new ships and itineraries to the Port of Durban. We are looking forward to welcoming MSC MUSICA when she comes to the port in the next cruise season,” said Nkowane.

TNPA and MSC exchanged gifts on Friday to symbolise the two parties’ appreciation for the MSC SINFONIA partnership over the years.