THE MSC Musica, the largest ship MSC Cruises has brought to SA waters, has replaced the MSC Sinfonia. On November 8 it set sail on its inaugural voyage to Portuguese Island and Pomene.

The ship will spend the Southern hemisphere summer season (November to April) sailing the South African coastline. Itineraries include trips from Durban to either Portuguese Island or Pomene, or both; Durban to Mauritius and Réunion; Durban to Cape Town, Cape Town to Walvis Bay; and Cape Town to Durban, stopping at Port Elizabeth.

The MSC Musica has 13 guest decks (MSC Sinfonia had nine) and 1 275 cabins (including 17 for guests with disabilities), accommodating 3 223 passengers (554 more than the MSC Sinfonia). The Musica has also been designed to offer more cabins with balcony views.

Dining options include an à la carte Italian seafood and steakhouse restaurant, an authentic Japanese sushi bar, two formal dining rooms, and an all-day world cuisine buffet and pizzeria. There are also five bars and three lounges. The ship caters for families, with a designated children’s play area and swimming pool. On-board entertainment includes the Q32 Disco room, the Sanremo Casino, a theatre that will feature original shows, and a card room. On the activity side, guests can enjoy mini golf, tennis, basketball, virtual games, bowling lanes, children’s activity clubs, a gym, and a power walking track. There is also a spa and beauty centre.

On April 26, 2019, the MSC Musica will sail from Durban to Venice and will be replaced by its sister ship, the MSC Orchestra, for the Southern hemisphere winter season, commencing in November next year.

Ross Volk, MD of MSC Cruises SA, added: “We will also be building a R200 million cruise terminal at the Port of Durban as part of the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) consortium, and opening a hospitality school in the Durban Harbour, which will train young South Africans who are keen to be part of the hospitality industry.”

Caption: Aboard the MSC Musica before the ship’s first sailing are (from left): Angelo Capurro, MSC Cruises commercial executive director for Emerging Markets, South Africa, Australia, Portugal, Mexico and Japan; Ciro Pinto, MSC Musica captain, and Ross.