Construction of the Port of Durban’s new cruise terminal has started.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) consortium, in which MSC Cruises is a partner alongside empowered investment entity Africa Armada Consortium, broke ground on the site last week.

The new terminal will include a retail component, and multi-purpose training, conferencing and events facilities.

“This is going to change the face of Durban,” said Moshe Motlohi, General Manager of the Port of Durban.

“The cruise industry is the fastest growing category in the leisure travel market,” he added.

During the 2019/20 cruise season, which runs from October 2019 until late April, the port is expected to welcome at least 17 cruise liners.

Coinciding with the sod-turning event, MSC Cruises’ MSC Orchestra arrived in Durban for its maiden South African voyage ahead of the 2019/2020 cruise season.

MSC Orchestra will sail 39 cruises in Southern African waters over the next six months to destinations on the Namibian, South African and Mozambique coastlines, as well as to Mauritius.

MSC Cruises will operate two ships to South African shores for next year’s 2020/2021 cruise season. This will be the first time that two different class MSC Cruises ships – MSC Opera and MSC Musica – will be deployed in the country at the same time.

The new terminal development coincides with the extension of the City of Durban’s new beachfront promenade, as well as the future development of the Durban Point Waterfront.

Transnet will begin construction on a connecting section between the promenade and the new cruise terminal in 2020. This will give cruise passengers direct access to the central beachfront.