"I'd like to spend some time in Mozambique, the sunny sky is aqua blue." ~ Bob Dylan (Mozambique)
21.12.2011 - 28.12.2011 30 °C
All the videos from this trip can be viewed on Youtube: MSC Sinfonia Mozambique
On a humid day in Durban, South Africa, we arrive at Durban Harbour ready to board the MSC Sinfonia. The MSC Sinfonia was built in 2002, with 9 passengers decks (12 in total), and a length of 252 metres. She is one of the newest ships in the MSC fleet and cost approximately $245 million to complete and furnish.
As we arrive at the port, we can only see the ship peeking out from behind the waiting hall. The next few hours are made up of waiting and some more waiting. Passengers are sent to the waiting hall, a hell of people, heat and humidity, to wait for their numbers to be called out. As soon as your number is called, you can proceed to the next part where passport check and hotel check-in happens.
1. MSC Sinfonia and the Waiting Hall
As all food is included on this cruise, so the first thing we do as we hop onboard, is head down to lunch. The weather is a bit cloudy, but this does not make Durban lose any of its humid charm. After lunch, we head to the top deck to view the ship leaving Durban harbour. A crowd of people are already dancing on the deck as they introduce the so-called "Dream Team", the entertainment staff and take the crowd through music from the different countries onboard.
3. MSC Sinfonia Stern
As all food is included on this cruise, it should be no suprise that a massive amount of eating was done. With two buffet meals, a formal dinner at night and burger and pizza snacks between meals, no one will go hungry on this cruise.
5. The Kardashians?
The Christmas Cruise is a six night cruise from Durban Harbour up the east coast of South Africa towards Mozambique. Our first night onboard we had a formal dinner and introduction to the crew and captain. We all dressed up into our formal outfits and made our way to the ship's theater.
In the theater, champagne and snacks were served. The captain came down the stairs to a very Afrikaans song, called Kaptein by Kurt Darren. The song name means Captain in Afrikaans, and has apparently become Captain Ciro Pinto's favourite song.
The first port of call for the MSC Sinfonia on this cruise, was Inhambane. This is a city located about 470km northeast of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. As there is no harbour to speak of, the ship docks a distance away into the ocean. Boats are then taken to shore. You climb off into the waves and everyone and everything gets wet as you somehow fall off the boat and into deeper water than you expected. Inhambane is one of the oldest settlements on the East Coast of Mozambique as Muslim traders already inhabited this area as early as the 11th century.
The resort on the beach was called Barra Lodge and is situated on Barra Beach. Scuba diving is very popular in this area as Manta Rays, Whale Sharks and Turtles are plentiful in these waters. We opted for no exploring and rather chose a day of relaxing on the beach.
The weather in Mozambique was boiling, with beaches so hot they gave you blisters under your feet. As a result I burned into a crisp and couldn't even stand being out in the sun. Me, deck chair, wet orange towels to make sure no sun gets to me, and lots of shade was how I spent my next day.
9. Orange Towel Baby
At the end of the trip, all bags are to be placed in the hallways at a certain time. The baggage checkers will then proceed to remove your bags and take them down ready to be taken off the ship. All the hallways were crowded with bags as people scrambled to get them out by their specific times and also to have all the necessary clothes out for the next day. In the morning, we had our last breakfast and then proceded to wait yet again in for our numbers to be called out so we could leave the ship.
Before leaving to go home, we had one day in Durban. We spent this day visiting Ushaka Marine World and seeing the Dolphin Show. Durban was wet, but unfortunately still humid and sticky.