Victorian buildings and Indian temples 
A very photogenic harbour area
The impressive uShaka Marine World

Find South Africa Cruises


Explosion of colour

When you alight from your MSC cruise in Durban – South Africa’s third-largest city and the continent’s largest port – you will be captured by its tropical colours and holidaying people.
A shore excursion on your MSC South Africa cruise can be the opportunity to discover Durban’s second-largest ethnic group, its Indian population, whose mosques, bazaars and temples are juxtaposed with the Victorian buildings of the colonial centre.

The pulsing warren of bazaars, alleyways and mosques that makes up the Indian area around Dr Yusuf Dadoo Street is ripe for exploration, and there are some excellent restaurants around Durban’s photogenic harbour area. Durban’s city centre grew around the arrival point of the first white settlers, and the remains of the historical heart are concentrated around Francis Farewell Square.

Durban’s expansive beachfront on the eastern edge of the centre has one of the city’s busiest concentrations of restaurants, a surfeit of tacky family entertainment. Durban’s beachfront, a high-energy holiday strip just east of the centre, is South Africa’s most developed seaside. MSC South Africa cruises also offer excursions to the 6km-stretch of the beach from the Umgeni River in the north to the Point in the south, traditionally called the Golden Mile.

The big draw of Addington Beach – and the only really worthwhile attraction along the beachfront – is instead uShaka Marine World. This impressive water adventure wonderland is a tropical African theme park, complete with palm trees, fake rock formations and thatched bomas. The most appealing section is uShaka Sea World, designed in and around a superb mock-up of a wrecked 1920s cargo ship. The complex also includes a dolphin stadium and a seal pool, where daily shows (three a day) feature these creatures, as well as uShaka Wet ’n Wild, a series of pools and water slides, including The Drop Zone, the highest water slide in Africa.

Must see places in Durban

  • The golden mile

    The golden mile

  • The shark dive at uShaka Sea World

    The shark dive at uShaka Sea World

  • Oceanarium


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South Africa

An appointment with the big five
An appointment with the big five

South Africa is the African continent’s trump card. Energetic and brimming with self-confidence, no other country can match it for sheer variety.

It holds some of Africa’s very best attractions, neatly linked by an efficient, visitor-friendly infrastructure with good onward connections to other countries. 

If you are on a cruise to South Africa and your idea of the perfect African adventure boils down to a spot of Big Five game-watching, a few days on a glorious beach and a quick taste of history and heritage, then this country will fit the bill nicely. 

However, you’d be doing the place an injustice if you left it at that. 

Make time during your cruises to stride along some of its many stunning hiking trails, sip Pinotage on its Cape Dutch wine estates, cruise its happening nightclubs or track down rare creatures such as great white sharks, southern right whales and African penguins, and you have the makings of a truly memorable trip

Culturally, it’s complex and fragmented. A favourite wry quip is that while apartheid may be history, it’s not yet in the past. 

To dig a little deeper into the realities of present-day segregation and survival in the Rainbow Nation you could take in a cultural visit to a rural district, or spend a day in a township with a local guide.