Crystal Cruises in Cape Town

The third largest city in South Africa, Durban is famous as the busiest port in Africa.

It is also a popular and important port for a growing number of cruise itineraries – especially those going around the world or relocating from one popular cruise area to another.

Durban has become a major centre of tourism due to the city's warm subtropical climate, beaches and attractions in the city centre and further a field.

 Brief History of Durban

First discovered by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama searching for a route from Europe to India in 1497, the modern city of Durban dates from 1824, when a party of 25 men under British Lieutenant F. G. Farewell arrived from the Cape Colony to set up a trading post.

In 1835, it was decided to build a capital town and name it "d'Urban" after Sir Benjamin d'Urban, then governor of the Cape Colony.

Durban went on to rapidly become Africa's busiest general cargo port and home to one of the largest and busiest container terminals in the Southern Hemisphere.

 Cruise Terminal in Durban

Cruise passengers currently use N Shed at the Durban port, a partially converted warehouse, which operates mostly during the summer months between November and May when MSC Cruises base a cruise ship for all-summer cruising at Durban, operating to the Mozambique and Indian Ocean island destinations.

In November 2009, MSC Cruises made a guarantee to the Transnet National Ports Authority that 150,000 passengers will embark and disembark at the Durban port this season in a bid to get the state-owned enterprise to invest in an updated cruise terminal for Durban.

Transnet National Ports Authority is the largest port authority in southern Africa, controlling seven of the 16 noteworthy ports in the region. These ports are Richards Bay, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Cape Town and Saldanha.

Plans for a new cruise terminal are in the works and include the construction of a new cruise terminal at A-berth near the Point Waterfront.

The city center can be reached on foot in about 10 minutes from the current cruise terminal, but because of safety concerns, walking is not recommended. Metered taxis are generally available at the pier.

Durban International Airport (DIA), ACSA will continue to cater for passenger growth in the short term, but will be de-commissioned shortly when the new King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) at La Mercy, 30 km north of central Durban, comes on stream.

Must See Attractions in Durban

Ushaka Marine World: Located on Durban’s south beach, the new Ushaka Marine World offers fun and education with their unique shipwreck-themed aquarium (one of the five largest aquariums in the world), a 1 200-seater dolphin stadium (the largest dolphinarium in Africa), a seal pool and penguin rookery and interactive activities in the dive tank, snorkel reef and touch pool.

The Durban Botanic Gardens (DBG): Durban’s oldest public institution and Africa's longest surviving botanical
gardens showcases welcomes more than half a million visitors each year to its rich presentations of trpical plants and mixed arboretum of African, Asian and American trees.

The Durban Natural Science Museum: One of the oldest and most visited museums in South Africa, the Durban Natural Science Museum showcases the natural heritage of the area as well as the earth in general. Dioramas depicting the natural world include a life-size dinosaur, and the new KwaZulu-Natal Science Centre is an interactive and educational facility.

Beaches: For many years Durban has been known as the vacation playground for the whole country, and one of the reasons for its popularity is in the amazing stretches of golden beaches, known as Durban's Golden Mile, near downtown, most of which offer facilities including changing rooms, shark nets, lifeguards and fast-food outlets.

 Cruise Ports

• Cape Town – South Africa
• Durban – South Africa
• Las Palmas – Canary Islands
• Mahé – Seychelles
• Port Louis, Mauritius
• Tenerife – Canary Islands


• Bangkok - Thailand

• Chongqing - China
• Hong Kong
• Mumbai - India
• Shanghai – China
• Singapore
• Yichang - China


• Brisbane - Australia
• Melbourne - Australia
• Sydney - Australia

• Quebec City – Quebec
• Montreal – Quebec
• Vancouver – BC
• Victoria – BC

• Barcelona - Spain
• Copenhagen – Denmark
• Lisbon - Portugal
• Nice - Villefranche - France
• Piraeus / Athens – Greece
• Rome (Civitavecchia) - Italy
• Venice – Italy

• Dubai - United Arab Emirates
• Istanbul - Turkey

• Tunis - Tunisia

• Auckland, New Zealand

• Dunedin, New Zealand

• Wellington, New Zealand

• Anchorage - Alaska
• Baltimore - Maryland
• Boston - Massachusetts
• Cape Canaveral - Florida
• Cape Liberty - New Jersey
• Fort Lauderdale - Florida
• Galveston - Texas
• Honolulu - Oahu - Hawaii
• Los Angeles - California
• Miami - Florida
• New Orleans - Louisiana
• New York - Brooklyn
• New York - Manhattan
• Norfolk - Virginia
• San Diego - California
• San Francisco - California
• Seattle - Washington
• Seward - Alaska
• Tampa - Florida
• Whittier - Alaska

These are just a few of the more than 70 ports and cruise terminals to be featured here on the port pages which are being updated daily with more port destinations

 in Durban

The average winter temperature for Durban (May to September - bearing in mind we are in the southern hemisphere and winter is reversed) is between a balmy 22 - 24˚C . In the summer months (January - March) the temperatures rise to a peak of 28˚C.

Mean total rainfall fluctuates between an average of 40 mm/month for the winter season, and 105 mm/month for the the summer months with an average of 5 days of rain/month for the winter months, and 15 days of rain/month for the rest of the year.

 in Durban

The rand (ZAR) equals 100 cents. Note denominations include R200, R100, R50, R20, and R10.

 of Durban

Almost everyone peaks English in South Africa, but the country embraces a number of languages including Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans.

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