Posted: 10 Feb 2020 Cruising into the sunrise: why cruises could represent the future of domestic travel


Ross Volk, Managing Director of MSC Cruises South Africa


At MSC Cruises we’ve seen an impressive increase in passenger numbers from our 2017/2018 South African cruise season to our 2018/2019 cruise season, despite tough economic conditions. The reason for this could be attributed to the fact that cruising offers serious value for money.

A holiday with all the trimmings, without the hidden costs

The biggest attraction with cruising is its all-inclusive offering; your cruise fare includes accommodation, world-class food, on-board entertainment and most activities. Accommodation options suit all budgets, from the more affordable interior cabins to the lavish suites.  With a 21-hours-a-day buffet, as well as a-la-carte options, guests also don’t have to worry about counting their pennies when it comes to meals. Beverages come at an additional cost, but the variety of drinks packages that can be purchased before departure can put a cap on your drink spending.

You’re spoilt for choice with entertainment too, at no additional cost. There are theatre performances every night, as well as live music and shows, and numerous bars and a disco. Another huge attraction of cruises is that they are convenient; guests only unpack once, even though they may be visiting several different local and international destinations. It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up and find yourself approaching a new country or city, without having had to rush to airports or endure long layovers. The cruise liner takes care of all the tedious administration that can be associated with travelling, such as booking transport and accommodation at multiple destinations. This gives you more time to sit back and really enjoy yourself.

The perfect holiday option for kids (and parents)

In addition, those ‘silent’ costs that can often blow your holiday budget, such as planning entertainment for the kids, are taken care of on a cruise. These ships offer free activity programmes for each age group, from the very young to those in their late teens. While the youngsters are entertained and looked after by trained child minders, parents can truly relax, without having to worry about whether the kids are having fun, or having to plan their children’s next activity. Parents are also given the opportunity to really enjoy a holiday of their choosing, rather than being guided by what their kids want.

Best of all, children under the age of 18 cruise free, provided they are travelling with two adults, and parents only need to pay for mandatory port charges and insurance.

So, considering all these factors, it’s clear why the cruising sector is riding on a wave of growth. In fact, because of cruising’s surging popularity in South Africa, MSC Cruises will be expanding its offering on our continent for the 2020/2021 cruise season. For the first time we will have two different class MSC Cruises ships sailing Southern African waters at the same time. MSC Cruises is excited to be leading the surge of cruising tourism in South Africa and I personally look forward to seeing how it will grow.

MSC Orchestra will be sailing around South Africa until April 2020. For booking and more information, please go to