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Cruising to Cape Town

And after the fourth night we cruised into Cape Town. Thanks to a generous invitation from Starlight Cruises, we were enjoying the pleasures of reviewing a cruise aboard the MSC Rhapsody from Durban to Cape Town via Port Elizabeth. I had overslept a bit - the previous evening was sublime and we had been relaxing on the sun deck (is it still called that at night?!) looking at the very bright half-moon. Once again hats off to whoever decided on the timetable, as the morning lighting is perfect for photographs as one enters into Table Bay Harbour.

views of Table Mountain as the Rhapsody cruises into Table Bay harbour

The Cape Town Passenger Terminal Hall where we disembarked. Behind it is the Robert G. Bradley warship.

The Chamarel Port Louis - one of many ships we saw in Cape Town's harbour.

Cape Town passenger terminal near where we disembarked

Chamarel Port Louis

The BP & Absa buildings are clearly visible from the harbour.

Exclusive Books at the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre

Cape Town city centre from the harbour

Exclusive Books at the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre

Where one exits the disembarkation quay into the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

The ferris wheel and swing bridge.

the exit from the quay into the V&A Waterfront

the Ferris Wheel at the V&A Waterfront

The fish quay and the old grain silos in the background.

Behind the tugs is the Hildebrand restaurant.

the grain elevator

the Hildebrand at Cape Town's Waterfront

Some small tugs tucked into the corner of Jetty 1 & Quay 6.

The Old Port Captain's Office.

jetty 1 & quay 6

Old Port Captain's offices

Quay Four is visible, and sticking out in the top middle is the Ritz Hotel.

The disembarkation quay for the Rhapsody. In the background is the US warship, Robert G Bradley.

Quay Four at the V&A Waterfront

disembarkation from the Rhapsody cruiseliner

View from the sun deck of the Rhapsody, with the Table Bay Hotel visible in the top left.

Passengers on the Rhapsody watch as the ship approaches the V&A Waterfront.

Rhapsody cruiseliner in Table Bay harbour

Rhapsody nears the Waterfront

SAPS board the Rhapsody to conduct clearance procedures.

Construction on Cape Town's Soccer World Cup 2010 stadium

SAPS board the Rhapsody

Soccer Stadium for 2010

The Southern Raider & Southern Patriot lobster boats berthed at Quay 7 in Victoria Wharf.

The Tina (ZR4584), a fishing vessel owned by Joenardo Fishing CC.

Southern Raider & Southern Patriot

Tina boat

Views of Lion's Head

Passengers on the deck of the Rhapsody (bottom right) view the Lion's Head (top right), the old grain silos (middle) and the Fish Quay (middle).

Lion's Head in the background, the slopes of Signal Hill and the V&A Waterfront (Nedbank BOE offices) in the foreground

Grain silos and Lion's Head in Cape Town Harbour

Lion's Head

Southern Patriot

Constructed in 1962 and owned by Premier Fishing, the Southern Patriot (call sign ZR 4145) is a South African registered south coast rock lobster boat with live lobster tanks, which spends 2 to 16 days at sea (depending on the proximity of the fishing grounds to Cape Town harbour). It delivers lobsters to the refrigerated live lobster tanks in Cape Town. Notice Robben Island in the background of the photo. When you sail into Cape Town you may also see one of its sister vessels - the Southern Raider or the Southern Saint.

Southern Patriot fishing vessel

Tugboats galore

If you're a tugboat fun you'll enjoy cruising into Cape Town harbour - here's what we saw:

The "Pinotage" tugboat. The famous Quay Four restaurant can be seen in the background (Quay Four was one of the original restaurants in the V&A Waterfront).

The "Palmiet" tugboat helping the Rhapsody into its moorings at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront harbour.

Pinotage tugboat

Palmiet tugboat tugging the Rhapsody into Cape Town

The Enseleni & Pinotage tugboats, with the main Waterfront shopping building in the background (green roofs) and the stadium for the 2010 Fifa World Cup being built further into the background.

The "Enseleni" tugboat in Cape Town harbour - at the top of the photo you can see the lower slopes of Signal Hill.

Enseleni & Pinotage tugboat in Cape Town

Enseleni tugboat in Cape Town harbour

The Robert G Bradley

The Robert G Bradley is a US Naval frigate which we saw as we entered Cape Town harbour.

Here's the Robert G Bradley parked opposite the Rhapsody's berth at Jetty 2 in the Victoria Basin. In the background to the left is The Table Bay hotel.

This patrol boat was active in the Victoria Basin around the Robert G Bradley.

Robert G Bradley in the V&A Waterfront

patrol boat in the V&A Waterfront

Views of Signal Hill

The Robert G Bradley on the right with Signal Hill in the background.

Tugboats moored at the V&A Waterfront with Signal Hill in the background.

Bradley & Signal Hill

Signal Hill & V&A Waterfront tugboats

The Swing Bridge at the V&A Waterfront with Signal Hill in the background.

As the Rhapsody enters Cape Town harbour, we can see Table Mountain, Lion's Head & Signal Hill.

Swing Bridge at V&A Waterfront

the Fish Quay, Table Mountain & Signal Hill

Docks opposite the Table Bay Hotel

The Rhapsody would eventually dock opposite the Table Bay Hotel at Jetty 2 (with Quay 6 between it and The Table Bay Hotel) at about 0630.

The Table Bay Hotel

Order of events when arriving in Cape Town

(1) Clearance procedures is obtained from the authorities (2) The luggage is taken ashore. (3) By deck order it is announced when luggage is ashore (each deck is provided with a colour, and the decks have their luggage placed seperately), at which stage passengers may disembark. (4) Keep your cruise card handy for when you leave the ship.

Passengers can obtain priority clearance by:

  1. Carrying luggage with you

  2. By going to reception and arranging to have luggage cleared early

Closing your account

If you have used your credit card, then the Rhapsody closes your account for you, and sends you the paperwork to sign. If you have used a cash account, you must close your account manually (account must be closed by 0730 of day before disembarkation).

Gratuities are normally sent to cabin steward and dining steward, but also to any cabin members who you felt made a difference to your holiday.

Comments are important as it affects people's bonuses.

Safest form of travel

Statistically, ships today are the safest form of transport

cruising into Cape Town aboard the MSC Rhapsody

Other cruise ships

The other cruise ships operated by MSC in South Africa are the Sinfonia and Opera.

2015 Investment Cruise

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