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.
Excursions & Activities
Reach the Port
From Pietermartizburg (Johannesburg to Harbour):
Approaching Durban on the N3, you will come to a fork in the road. Take the exit signposted City (not Beach). When you come to the first set of robots / traffic lights, turn right into Dr Yusuf Dadoo Street (Grey Street). Cross over Dr Pixley KaSeme Street (West Street) and Anton Lembede Street (Smith Street). (Grey Street and Broad Street are now both called Dr Yusuf Dadoo Street). When you come to the T-Junction at the end of the street, turn left into Margaret Mncadi Avenue (Victoria Embankment / Esplanade). Follow this road until you come to the sixth set of robots / traffic lights. At this point, Stalwart Simelane Street (Stanger Street) should be on your left and Quayside Road on your right. Turn right into Quayside Road, go through security (boom gates) and follow the signs to the N-Shed.
From the North Coast:
Take the M4 Northern Freeway, which runs along the beach. When you reach the robots / traffic lights, go over Sandile Thusi Road (Argyle Road) and continue straight past C R Swart Police Station. Cross over Somtseu Road, KE Msinga Road (Old Fort Road), Bram Fischer Road (Ordinance Road), Monty Naicker Road (Pine Street), Dr Pixley KaSeme Street (West Street) and Anton Lembede Street (Smith Street). At the set of robots / traffic lights immediately after Anton Lembede Street (Smith Street) turn right into Margaret Mncadi Avenue (Victoria Embankment / Esplanade). At the first set of robots / traffic lights, turn left into Quayside Road, go through security (boom gates) and follow the signs to the N-Shed.
From the South Coast:
From the M4 Freeway, take Margaret Mncadi Avenue (Victoria Embankment / Esplanade), exiting off the ramp. Follow the road till you get to a set of robots / traffic lights were Stalwart Simelance Street (Stanger Street) is on your left and Quayside Road is on your right. Turn right into Quayside Road, go through security (boom gates) and follow the signs to the N-Shed.