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If you find cheaper cruise prices advertised elsewhere it's because they exclude port charges, service charges and insurance. We advertise fares including mandatory charges - always have and always will.

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Departures 17 and 31 Jan 2014. Cruise to Portuguese Island on the luxurious MSC Opera.
Discount - 50% | Save R2,389 pps.
3 night cruise departing Durban.

Departs 24 Jan 2014.
Cruise to Portuguese Island on the luxurious MSC Opera.
Discount - 50% | Save R2,389 pps.
3 night cruise departing Durban.
Departs 20 Jan 2014.
Cruise to Maputo and Portuguese Island on the luxurious MSC Opera.
Discount - 46% | Save R2,309 pps.
4 night cruise departing Durban.

MSC Opera at sea
Portuguese Island
Party time on the MSC Opera

R3,090* pps - Inside cabin
R3,590* pps - Outside cabin
R3,990* pps - Balcony cabin

R3,090* pps - Inside cabin
R3,590* pps - Outside cabin
R4,190* pps - Balcony cabin

R3,450* pps - Inside cabin
R3,950* pps - Outside cabin
R4,550* pps - Balcony cabin

*Subject to change. Limited availability. Price includes port charges,service fees and insurance.

*Subject to change. Limited availability. Price includes port charges,service fees and insurance.

*Subject to change. Limited availability. Price includes port charges,service fees and insurance.

January Cruise Sale | Best Price Guaranteed

We are so confident nobody can beat these cruise prices that we guarantee it! If you find a cheaper price on a like for like basis (including port charges, service charges and insurance) within a week of booking with us, we'll refund the difference (must be for the same cruise, cabin category and passengers).

How to book

Visa and Mastercard accepted.

Limited Availabilty

There are a strictly limited number of cabins at these prices. The longer you take to book the greater the chance of others snapping up the cabins and you being left without.

Last Chance Saloon

We know that some clients have been glumly watching cruise prices rising as others booked up the cruise ships. Don't run the risk of losing out again! Please email or navigate to cruises from Durban and fill in the online form.

MSC Opera

The MSC Opera is the newest MSC cruise ship which started sailing South Africa's shores last year. She's a similar size to the MSC Sinfonia, but has a slightly glossier feel.

The Purple Shall Rule!

I'm writing this on the last night of our MSC Sinfonia cruise from Durban to the Portuguese Island and Maputo, and feeling a bit down that it's coming to an end - my cure for the end-of-cruise-blues is to start researching my next one! I'm looking at the Sinfonia Genoa to Cape Town cruise later this year. I yearn for more time at sea, to sit on the deck and feel time and the ocean stretch out in front of me, to be lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the ship and to hand myself completely over to the power of this giant hulk of metal to guide me safely through the waters.

Portuguese Island

Aside from the Dream Team's (the ship's entertainment crew) hilarious rendition of the song "Big Bamboo", the highlight of this trip was the visit to Portuguese Island. So rather than move through events in chronological order, I'm going to start with the main course, and show you why I love Portuguese Island. The best thing about Portuguese Island is to swim in its warm azure waters, to suck salt air into one's lungs and lie in the buoyant sea water, a happy distance from the noise of citylife. In this photo, we can see Inhaca in the background.

swimming at Portuguese Island, Mozambique

From the Sinfonia to Portuguese Island

We were transported between the ship and Portuguese Island on little motorboats. Those piloting the boats have a kewl deal, in that they can cruise for free. The crew are really good, offering a lot of assistance for those with babies, the frail and the criple. We were a bit wary of taking our 3-month-old along, but he fell asleep on the motorboat!

Snorkelling at Inhaca

My personal highlight of this cruise was the snorkelling excursion at Inhaca. After the Sinfonia dropped anchor of Portuguese Island, I caught a lift to the island, and then another boat took us to a point just off a reef at Inhaca, which we floated along seeing the fish, eels and fishermen's ropes.

Here we are piling off the boat at Portuguese Island.

snorkellers getting off boat at Portuguese Island


The MSC Sinfonia's cooks set up some braai stands on Portuguese Island, and for lunch there was braaied sausage, lamb and burger patties. For most meals on the Sinfonia you've got the choice between being served food at a restaurant (Il Galeone or Il Cove) or eating from a buffet (pool deck). The advantage of the buffet is that you can zone in on what you enjoy, and eat as much as you like of that dish, but sometimes it's also nice to sit down and be served. Here's a photo of us queueing up for the braai buffet on the beach.

Portuguese Island opposite Inhaca, Mozambique

Shopping on Portuguese Island

On Portuguese Island you don't go to the shop, the shop comes to you. Locals try to sell beer, rum (alcoholic drinks are stowed away by the ship), cooldrinks, cloth, sunglasses, shoes and wooden carvings. The wooden carvings of the MSC Sinfonia impressed me the most (although the ship warns you of the risk of woodworm, and may want to stow wood items away).

History of Portuguese Island

The visit to Portuguese Island and Inhaca was the highlight of the trip. Perhaps, like me, you don't know much about Portuguese Island - here's some history. Two Islands lie in the Bay of Maputo (32km east of Maputo)) - Inhaca (84 square km) and Portuguese Island (2.5 square km). Portuguese Island looks like a large extension to the sandbanks in Inhaca's lagoon. Portuguese Island has been known about at least since the 14th Century Arab trading days (and probably before then, by local Mozambicans). In 1545 Portuguese traders and hunters used Portuguese Island as their trading headquarters for ivory...thus becoming known as the "Island of the Portuguese". The island played a major role in the decimation of elephants in Africa, thus becoming known as the Portuguese Elephant Island, which was later shortened to Portuguese Island.


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Until next time!
Karen, Rob & the rest of the SouthAfrica.TO team