Cape Town

At the foot of Table Mountain

A mix of architectonic styles

The most pleasing city centre of South Africa

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Cape Town

Nature at its most expressive

When your MSC cruise brings you to Cape Town, it’s easy to see that, more than a scenic backdrop, Table Mountain is the solid core of this port city. It divides the city into distinct zones, with public gardens, wilderness, forests, hiking routes, vineyards and desirable residential areas trailing down its lower slopes.
Standing on the tabletop, you can look north for a giddy view of the city centre, its docks lined with matchbox ships. When you are on holiday in South Africa, to appreciate Cape Town you need to spend time outdoors, as Capetonians do: they hike, picnic or sunbathe, often choose mountain bikes in preference to cars, and turn adventure activities into an obsession.

Cape Town’s rich urban texture is immediately apparent in its diverse architecture: an indigenous Cape Dutch style, rooted in northern Europe, seen at its most diverse in the Constantia wine estates, which were influenced by French refugees in the seventeenth century; Muslim dissidents and slaves, freed in the nineteenth century, added their minarets to the skyline; and the English, who invaded and freed these slaves, introduced Georgian and Victorian buildings.

Strand Street marks the edge of Cape Town’s original beachfront, and all urban development to its north stands on reclaimed land. To its south is the Upper City Centre, containing the remains of the city’s 350-year-old historic core, which has survived the ravages of modernization and apartheid-inspired urban clearance, and emerged with enough charm to make it South Africa’s most pleasing city centre.

The entire area from Strand Street to the southern foot of the mountain is a collage of Georgian, Cape Dutch, Victorian and twentieth-century architecture, as well as being the place where Europe, Asia and Africa meet in markets, alleyways and mosques. Among the draw cards here are Parliament, the Company’s Gardens and many of Cape Town’s major museums.

Must see places in Cape Town

  • Cape of Good Hope

    Cape of Good Hope

  • The view from the sea

    The view from the sea

  • Table Mountain

    Table Mountain

Discover our excursions

    The excursions program for this port is under progress. Come back soon to find out the best way to discover this destination!

Reach the port

Port of Cape Town

This section contains information on how to reach the port.

Cruise Terminal:

V&A Waterfront Estern Mole

Reach the port by

  • Car

    Driving Directions to E-Berth, Duncan Dock, Cape Town Port from the Waterfront:
    when you enter the V&A, the Caltex Station is on your right hand side.
    Stay on the right, then turn right at the traffic circle / roundabout and proceed to the security boom opposite the SAPS Harbour Police. 
    E-Berth is directly behind the SAPS building on the left hand side.

South Africa

An appointment with the big five
An appointment with the big five

The South Africa is the African continent’s trump card. Energetic and brimming with self-confidence, no other country can match it for sheer variety.

It holds some of Africa’s very best attractions, neatly linked by an efficient, visitor-friendly infrastructure with good onward connections to other countries. 

If you are on a cruise to South Africa and your idea of the perfect African adventure boils down to a spot of Big Five game-watching, a few days on a glorious beach and a quick taste of history and heritage, then this country will fit the bill nicely. 

However, you’d be doing the place an injustice if you left it at that. 

Make time during your cruises to stride along some of its many stunning hiking trails, sip Pinotage on its Cape Dutch wine estates, cruise its happening nightclubs or track down rare creatures such as great white sharks, southern right whales and African penguins, and you have the makings of a truly memorable trip

Culturally, it’s complex and fragmented. A favourite wry quip is that while apartheid may be history, it’s not yet in the past. 

To dig a little deeper into the realities of present-day segregation and survival in the Rainbow Nation you could take in a cultural visit to a rural district, or spend a day in a township with a local guide.

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