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MSC Mars in Durban. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Mars. Picture: Trevor Jones

This ship’s origins seem obvious give the huge Hyundai signage along the hull, although the name on her bows has a different story – MSC MARS. The 188,000-dwt ship, capable of carrying up to 10,055 TEUs when fully loaded is seen at Durban Container Terminal’s North Quay. Built in 2016 at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Ltd shipyard in South Korea and owned by UK interests and managed by Zodiac Maritime Ltd, she was until recently operated by Hyundai Merchant Marine, who, ironically, were a short while ago negotiating to join the 2M Alliance of Maersk and MSC. That bid was unsuccessful and now one of ‘their’ ships is sailing for MSC – such are the fast-moving interactions taking place in the shipping industry. MSC Mars is 324 metres in length and 48m wide and has a summer draught of 15.5 metres – too much for Durban at present were she to be fully loaded. This picture is by Trevor Jones

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shiploader being unloaded at Port of Richards Bay, 2013, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
shiploader being unloaded at Port of Richards Bay, 2013

Port statistics for the month of June 2017, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National Ports Authority, are now available.

Total cargo handled at all eight ports during the past month amounted to 24.264 million tons, compared with the previous month (May 2017) when 22.031 million tons of cargo was handled, reflecting a significant increase in throughput month on month. The port of Richards Bay recorded…

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Map: Global Petroleum, appearing in Afria PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Map: Global Petroleum

Oil and gas exploration company Global Petroleum announced yesterday that it has completed the 2D seismic acquisition programme in the Company’s operated block (PEL 0029) in Namibia.

The survey – comprising 834 km of full fold 2D seismic data – was carried out by Seabird Exploration of Norway, and shooting…

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Chinese-built locomotives arriving in Durban. Picture Charles Baker, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Chinese-built locomotives arriving in Durban. Picture Charles Baker

Transnet announced yesterday that it has suspended senior officials after external auditors identified “reportable irregularities” to their regulatory body.

“Transnet’s external auditors submitted a report of reportable irregularities to the Independent Regulatory Boards of Auditors (IRBA), in line with their professional obligations.”

The irregularities relate to non-compliance and non-adherence to…

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MSC Sinfonia, appearing in AfricPORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Sinfonia

It’s mid winter, but the cruise season is but a few months away and this is the time to turn to thoughts of sun-drenched island beaches, palm trees, and your cruise ship nearby and awaiting your return.

Just imagine – the ocean breeze, the sweeping sea views, the mesmerising sound of gently lapping waters, the glitz, the glamour, the heightened romanticism and the sheer pleasure of life on board while you’re heading towards unimagined beauty … those aren’t the only allures of cruising. Perhaps, more than anything, the true allure of cruising is the ocean of choice.

And in this region of none have perfected it more than MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa.

“Time and time again our guests tell us how much they love the comfort of cruising, the simplicity of it, and how every cruise is an utterly unique experience. There’s so much choice within our offerings, we’re told it’s like candy for the soul.” says MSC Cruises South Africa Managing Director Ross Volk.

Ask yourself what you want, and you shall have it. A two night weekend getaway? MSC Cruises specialises in ‘nowhere weekend cruises’ from both Durban and Cape Town. These popular weekend getaways are the perfect escape for those who need a little downtime on calm waters.

Need a longer break? In our local waters, you can book a breezy escape with MSC Cruises for up to 11 nights. Internationally, if you’re ready for some major bucket-list fulfilment, you could even embark on a once-in-a-lifetime, life-long dream, 119-day MSC World Cruise that crosses six continents, and calls at 49 unique destinations in 32 countries.

When it comes to destinations, MSC Cruises always heads for the dreamiest of places, and with 46 cruises in the 2017/18 South African summer season, MSC Cruises promises more than ever before.

Mozambique’s Pomene is the newest sun-kissed darling on South Africa’s MSC Cruise calendar. Take a ride with MSC and step onto Pomene’s astonishingly white sands in style, where blue lagoons, unexplored coral reefs, and fairy-tale-like mangroves lie in wait.

MSC Sinfonia off Portuguese Island. ictures: MSC. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Sinfonia off Portuguese Island. Pictures: MSC

And then there’s always Mozambique’s ever-in-demand, Caribbean-esque, Inhaca Archipelago. Portuguese Island is a small, enchanting, uninhabited island just six kilometres long, where you can dip into the warm, crystalline ocean waters, find secluded bays, lay in the sun undisturbed, or dance and play volleyball and eat to your heart’s content.

Or you could cruise a little further afield and float by the haunting beauty of the Skeleton Coast on a voyage to Walvis Bay. Embraced by the spectacular Namib Desert, and rich in marine and bird life, Walvis Bay is one of Namibia’s gems of outstanding natural beauty. Indulge in Walvis Bay oysters, take in the architecture, delight in the abundance of seabirds, or make the most of Namibia’s extreme sports capital and leap into adventures like quad-biking, dune buggy racing, and sandboarding.

Of course no-one could resist the explosion of nature that moves from pure white tropical beaches to mountainous lush forests, peppered with bold architectural works and a variety of cultures on the island of Réunion. Or the inescapable luxury of Mauritius’ capital Port Louis.

And those are just the destinations. The abundance of food, entertainment, and activities on board are legendry – even amongst those who have never cruised before – but what most people don’t realise, Ross Volk tells us, is that MSC guests are able to tailor their on board experience far more than they realise.

“We have couples who come for a secluded romantic getaway, guests who party sunup and sundown, families that grab all the fun they can share, people who are on a health-kick or an indulgent fest of me-time … and they’re all on the same cruise. There is more than enough space, enough choice, and an ocean of freedom to make your holiday exactly what your heart desires.”

And if all this sounds like it might be out of your budget, give yourself a pleasant surprise and check out the package deals available on – you’d be hard-pressed to find such a rich and wild experience in a land-based holiday for the same value.

Perhaps that’s the best choice of all.

Here’s looking forward to the return of the cruise season!

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SA Agulhas, which will be centre of attraction in tomorrow's event at East London harbour. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SA Agulhas, which will be centre of attraction in tomorrow’s event at East London harbour. Picture: Trevor Jones

The Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, supported by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), will be launching the Eastern Cape Provincial Maritime Youth Development Programme tomorrow (Friday 14 July).

Earlier this year, in his fourth State of the Province Address (SoPA), Premier Masualle outlined the provincial economic outlook on the backdrop of the subdued national economic and increasingly constrained fiscal outlook.

In response to the high unemployment rate which is currently outpacing economic growth, with women and youth the most impacted, the Eastern Cape Government developed the…

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CMA CGM Marco Polo. Picture: CMA CGM, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
CMA CGM Marco Polo. Picture: CMA CGM

It is being widely reported that Turkey’s Yildirim Holding wants to sell off the 24% stake it has in French container line company, CMA CGM.

Readers will recall that Yildirim came to the aid of the French line several years ago when things were tough and CMA CGM faced the real prospect of being broken up. That injection, and display of trust in the French company, plus restructuring, helped CMA CGM turn…

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basic design of the Hrönn, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
basic design of the Hrönn

Interest in what is being predicted as the future in shipping continues to grow beyond the development and dreaming stage. Now added interest is being shown by influential shipping operators – the latest is French offshore services company Bourbon Offshore.

Bourbon said this week that it has entered into a MoU with Automated Ships Ltd to support the building of the world’s first autonomous, fully-automated and…

MacGregor and Rolls-Royce – a decade to automated container ships

In other news related to the development of automated shipping, MacGregor, which is already a leader in automated mooring systems, and Rolls-Royce recently…

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appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Mr Gianfranco Messina (82) of Messina Lines died yesterday morning in Genoa, Italy.

One of Italy’s oldest shipowners, he has had an involvement with the company of Ignazio Messina since the 1960s and was chairman for many years until he and his brother Paolo handed over the reins to the third generation in 2013. He continued to remain active in the company, having a special interest in the more technical aspects of the family shipping line.

Gianfranco Messina
Gianfranco Messina

Messina Line, which was founded by Gianfranco and Paolo Messina’s father Ignazio Messina, operates a Ro-Ro container and general cargo service between the Mediterranean and East and Southern Africa, with Durban as the southern terminus. Its orange/red-hulled ships are distinctive and instantly recognisable on their regular calls in the Africa ports on the east coast.

Gianfranco’s Messina was the father of Ignazio and Massima who now run the line together with three cousins, Andrea Gais, Stefano and Emanuele Messina.

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appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, 12 July 12, 2017 – As the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention’s D1 September 8th deadline looms, ship owners must secure International BWM Certificates and approved BWM plans for their ships. Bureau Veritas is addressing the challenge with a fast, effective and straightforward platform – ‘My Ballast Water Management Plan’ (My BWMP).

My BWMP provides ship owners with immediate online quotations, the ability to pay online, to submit their documents and then receive their approved BWM plans. My BWMP also enables Bureau Veritas to manage the high volumes to be processed within a very short time-frame. My BWMP is easy and it provides a rapid process for entering the required details for individual ships or fleets to secure a tailor-made quotation and enable the required documents to be submitted by a client shipowner or ship manager.

Philippe Donche-Gay, President of Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore said, “We wanted to provide owners and managers with a fast, practical resource to help them to meet the 8 September deadline with confidence and help ensure that we can manage the volume of work within the necessary time-frame. My BWMP brings e-business to the class business and we are also now looking at how it can be extended to provide further services giving access to our expertise in other areas.”

My BWMP will also provide technical, regulatory and commercial information and content related to the BWM Convention.

It is accessible directly at
or at

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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.

Naval News

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.


Almere arriving in Durban. Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Almere. Picture: Keith Betts

The small products tanker ALMERE (13,053-dwt) sails into Durban harbour earlier in July to discharge her cargo at Island View, the giant liquid bulk terminal serving not only the local region but most of the Southern African region as well. Almere is owned by interests registered in London and is managed by Union Maritime also of London, while her ISM manager is Anglo-Eastern Tanker Management of Hong Kong. The ship is registered in the Marshall Islands and was built in 2009. She was renamed Almere in March this year – previous names this ship has operated under are LADY SINA since 2014 and SEMUA PERKASA from 2009. This picture is by Keith Betts



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