MSC Cruises on a growth wave in SA
MSC Cruises SA believes in the potential offered by the South African market and has invested R200m towards construction of the new Durban port terminal, hoped to be operational by 2021 (TNW September 4, 2019).
MSC Cruises has seen a significant growth locally in cruising tourism over the past year, with a 25% increase in guest numbers over the most recent cruise season (November 2018 to April 2019) compared with the 2017/2018 season, says Ross Volk, md of MSC Cruises SA.
“We are expecting another increase for our upcoming cruise season, which begins on November 17.”
This growth in the cruising sector has led MSC Cruises to bring two ships to SA’s shores for the 2020/2021 cruise season, marking the first time that two of its ships will be deployed in the country simultaneously.
“It means one ship will be homeported in Durban for the entire season and that an additional 50 000 cruise passengers can discover why cruising in SA is booming. We will be offering over 60 cruises from one of two home ports (Durban or Cape Town). Guests will have eight different itineraries from which to choose – the most in SA cruise history.”
MSC Cruises is also committing to increasing job opportunities for South Africans. In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, the company is opening its Shosholoza Ocean Academy in November, which will provide free three-month training courses for young South Africans who qualify through MSC Cruises’ medical requirements.
Those who successfully complete the course will be eligible for employment on MSC Cruises’ ships across the world. MSC Cruises plans to get 3 000 to 5 000 new placements from SA over the next five years, which will bring around R5bn in salaries back to SA.