Seeing South Africa aboard a floating hotel

Aboard MSC Sinfonia photographed by Susan Wong 2012

Going on a cruise has surged in popularity as a holidaying option. Whether you’re a family will toddlers and teenagers, retired or traveling alone – cruising offers an experience that’s enjoyable to all.

Undeniably a more passive and relaxed way to tour different destinations with short stopovers to accommodate day excursions, cruises allow you to see the hustle and bustle of a tourist destination without the stress of finding accommodation and allows you to retire back in your cabin aboard a grand ship, whilst being mesmerized by the tranquil waves of the ocean.

As you line up in preparation of boarding, you’re overwhelmed with the sheer size of the ship as its pristine hull dwarfs you. The breathtaking steel and glass spectacle is a beautiful sight to behold – brilliantly white and glistening in the afternoon sun. Once aboard, most guests rush to the top deck, twelve floors up, to bid farewell as the ship blasts its horn, which unmistakably welcomes you aboard the MSC Sinfonia.

Capital Lifestyle Magazine boarded the last trip of MSC Sinfonia in South African waters from Durban and headed to Cape Town via a short 8-hour stopover in Port Elizabeth.

MSC Sinfonia is home to 716 crew members of 39 nationalities and can accommodate 2180 guests. Thanks to the ship’s completely electric navigation system, MSC Sinfonia’s eco-friendly commitment also results in an extremely quiet engine room – guests usually can’t even hear if the engines are on or not.


Food is plentiful aboard the MSC Sinfonia. Although the ship is the second smallest ship in the company’s fleet, MSC Sinfonia still easily blows through 140,000 to 160,000 kilos of food per week. That’s approximately 5,000 eggs to cook and 30,000 dishes to clean per day! From 7-course evening meals to unlimited buffets to daily tea services, gaining a few pounds aboard is part of the cruising culture.

A Capital Lifestyle Magazine must-try would be to try the oven-fresh pizza at Pizzeria where the dough is hand-kneaded and the tomato sauce is made fresh.


With shops and even discounts, the shopping arcade is a must visit for duty-free items. If you’re not planning to spend any money, visit the arcade just for the novelty of watching the waves pass by as you’re window shopping.


Activities aboard include mini golf, plenty of time to swim in the pools and Jacuzzis, lounge in the sun on the multi-level decks, attend dance lessons, win some cash at the casino, enjoy daily Broadway-like productions at the theatre, shed your extra weight at the gym, enjoy a cocktail and the various bars, and rejuvenate at the spa – all in the middle of the ocean aboard a giant floating hotel.


Forget about carrying those bulky wallets and heavy purses around when you’re travelling, the MSC Sinfonia onboard payment system makes your life as a tourist easy and ensures that you’ll have a good time. Every guest is issued a cruise card that is unique to only them, and serves as your on-board multi-purpose payment and id card. You can leave your passports and money in the safe and simply carry around your cruise card. Just a word of advice, make sure you keep track of what you spend considering it’s very easy to just charge everything to your card without feeling that you’ve spent anything. The last thing you want is to be surprised with a 5 page invoice the morning you disembark.

MSC SINFONIA photographed by Susan Wong 2012

MSC SINFONIA photographed by Susan Wong 2012

MSC SINFONIA photographed by Susan Wong 2012

MSC SINFONIA photographed by Susan Wong 2012

MSC SINFONIA photographed by Susan Wong 2012

MSC SINFONIA ocean photographed by Susan Wong 2012

MSC SINFONIA calamari photographed by Susan WOng 2012




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