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Cruise to Maputo on MSC Sinfonia or MSC Musica

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After boarding the Sinfonia in Durban and sailing along Mozambique's coastline, we cruised through Delagoa Bay, approaching Maputo from the north and passing Xefina Island (sha fee nah). From the Sinfonia's deck the island seems barren, but on Xefina are the ruins of a couple of gun batteries (built by the Portuguese to defend Maputo during the first and second World Wars), a munitions building (still containing bombs!) as well as the Portuguese Jail used to incarcerate political prisoners and other unwanteds up to 1975. Like Robben Island, Xefina had also for a period been used as a leper colony. The island currently has about 50 permanent residents who live in a fishing village.

Ilhad da Chefina Grande in Maputo, Mozambique

Shore Excursions

Excursions available change from cruise to cruise, so check with your cruise consultant what is available - here's examples of what has been available in the past:

  • Maputo City Tour

  • Maputo City Tour & lunch at Costa do Sol

  • Maputo walking tour

  • Panoramic Maputo with dinner at Costa do Sol

  • Panoramic Maputo with high tea at the famous Polana Hotel

  • City Tour with lunch at Maputo Waterfront

  • City tour with lunch at Zambi

Entering the Harbour

As the MSC Sinfonia passes the Costa do Sol and enters the harbour, passengers get onto the deck to see the views of Maputo.

MSC Sinfonia with Maputo in the background

Here's Maputo's Fishing Harbour. The green area on the left is Praça 25 de Junho and to the right of it is the old Portuguese Fort (if you go on the City Tour you'll visit it).

Maputo's Fishing Harbour

The excitement builds and the cameras are clicking away as the MSC Sinfonia docks at Maputo Harbour.

MSC Sinfonia docks at Maputo Harbour

The "Red Towers" (or "Torres Vermelhas" in Portuguese), 2 high rise residential buildings (22 floors).

Passengers on the viewing deck looking at what Maputo has to offer.

Torres Vermelhas, the Red Towers, in Maputo

passengers get on the deck of the Sinfonia to see views of Maputo

Sinfonia passengers taking in the view of Maputo

View of Maputo's Fishing Harbour from the Sinfonia

MSC Sinfonia passengers admiring the view

cruising into Maputo on the MSC Sinfonia

Ships in Maputo harbour

It was good to see a fair amount of activity in Maputo's river harbour.

The Mol Unifier Majuro chugging along Maputo's Harbour river.

Transmaritima offers a ferry service between Maputo and the adjoining city of Matola.

view from the Sinfonia of the Mol Unifier Majuro in Maputo harbour

Transmaritima SA in Maputo

A ship named "Bazaruto" in Maputo Harbour

That green patch on the right is Praça 25 de Junho

Bazaruto in Maputo Harbour

Pra´┐Ża 25 de Junho in Maputo, Mozambique

The QSM Dubai is a cargo ship built in 1978, and owned by QSM Dubai Ltd, based in  Al Garhoud Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

QSM Dubai docked and being offloaded in Maputo Harbour.

QSM Dubai in Maputo Harbour

QSM Dubai being offloaded in Maputo Harbour

Tour of Maputo

Mozambique City Tours meets the MSC Sinfonia at the harbour

This locomotive was one of the first to use the railway line between Lourenzo Marques & Pretoria, from its opening in 1895 until 1940.

Mozambique City Tours parks at the docks next to the MSC Sinfonia

locomotive at the Maputo train station

Enjoy some intense bargaining at Maputo's Mercado Centrale, near the grand old Railwa Station in the "Baixa". Delicious cashew nuts - avoid buying wooden articles because of the woodworm, and not everybody likes their photographs taken (especially if you're not buying from them!).

Mercado Centrale in Maputo, Mozambique

Maputo Mercado Centrale Market

The Fort of Maputo is the most popular attraction in the city. It is alternatively known as the Fort of Lourenço Marques or the Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora da Conceição. Built between 1851 and 1867, the fort stands on the site of the original mud and pole stockade. The fort houses the remains of Ngungunhane, last great chief of the Nguni tribe, and still contains plaques glorifying Portugal's colonial conquests as well as artillery.

tour guide in front of a plaque in the Fort of Maputo

wall of the Fort of Maputo

Natural History Museum in Maputo

As part of the city tour, we visited Maputo's Natural History Museum (note the ubiquitous hawkers in the foreground of the photo).

Natural History Museum in Maputo, Mozambique

The world's only collection of elephant foetuses ... macabre

Makonde tribesmen would put a dummy in their mouth to indicate that they don't want to speak to people.

elephants fetuses in Maputo's Natural History Museum

Makonde tribesman with something in his mouth to prevent him speaking

Savage nature...a lion attacking a zebra.

A two-headed goat.

lion attacking a zebra

Two headed goat in Maputo's Natural History Museum

And at the end of a day touring Maputo, we return to the MSC Sinfonia, docked at Maputo harbour. What a pleasure to visit cities without the hassle of having to pack and unpack in hotels.

MSC Sinfonia cruise ship docked at Maputo, Mozambique

This visit to Maputo took place on the 2nd February 2010.

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