MSC Cruises, one of the largest privately-owned cruise ship companies in the world, will not be sailing to South Africa until at least November 2021. Passengers due to board its ships before November are being offered vouchers for the next sailing season, which runs until April 2022.

Cruise ships have been banned in South Africa as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the cruise operator has decided to not operate here for the time being.

In November a ban on passenger ships entering South African harbours was adjusted to allow small craft, while large cruise ships remained explicitly prohibited from operating.

MSC said it had been working with South African authorities since March 2020 on coronavirus safety protocols. After an inspection in late December, it believed it had satisfied various departments and regulators that it could operate safely, but a month and a half later it is still waiting for approval to sail.

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Picture: MSC Cruises gallery

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.