A bustling, subtropical city and Africa’s busiest port, Vasco da Gama is said to have sighted Durban Bay on Christmas Day, 1497, naming the land Natal as a mark of respect for the Nativity. The name Durban was acquired in 1843 when Port Natal was renamed for Sir Benjamin D'Urban. Today , Durban delights the traveler with its colorful mosaic of ethnic neighborhoods and memorable excursions to game reserves and the traditional lifestyle of the Zulu people. Explore Old Market Square, the Golden Mile beachfront and the scented Botanic Gardens and Gray Street Mosque, the largest in the southern hemisphere.

Port: Durban
Experience

Durban

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  • Tala Game Reserve

    Explore South Africa's diverse flora, wildlife and bird-life during this memorable visit to the Tala Game Reserve.

    Depart the pier for the drive to the Tala Private Game Reserve. Nestled in the KwaZulu-Natal hills, this wildlife conservancy spans nearly 7,410 acres, and is home to an area of indigenous acacia thornveld, open grassland and sensitive wetlands that provide an exceptional environment in which to observe game and bird-life.

    The reserve features well over 300 bird species and big game that includes the buffalo, rhino, kudu, hippo, giraffe, and the rare sable antelope. Several distinctive and remarkable plant species can also be found at Tala, including the fiery aloe, the imposing euphorbia and fragrant wild sage.

    Upon arrival, you will meet the rangers and trackers, then board an open game vehicle for a guided game-drive. Along the way, you will have an opportunity to become one with nature, interact with the environment and animals, and experience the sights, sounds and smells of the African bush.

    Following your visit, refreshments will be served in the restaurant at the lodge before rejoining your coach for the return drive to the pier.

    Please note: As this tour involves travel over gravel roads, inclines and bumpy surfaces, pregnant women and guests with back and/or neck problems, guests with limited mobility and guests who utilize a wheelchair are discouraged from participating. Wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes, and bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and binoculars from the ship. The minimum age to participate on this tour is six years old. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.

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  • Executive Collection Half Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

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  • Executive Collection Half Day Van

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 6 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Full Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Full Day Van

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 6 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Nelson Mandela Capture Site

    Behold the steel-pole sculpture that ingeniously transforms into Nelson Mandela’s face near the spot where he was captured in 1962, and then visit a waterfall that the Zulus hold sacred.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a picturesque drive into the countryside, through the city of Pietermaritzburg, and on to an unassuming stretch of highway that was suddenly thrust into the spotlight on August 5, 1962. It was here that the police captured anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, who was posing as a chauffeur to avoid detection.

    Mandela ultimately spent 27 years in prison, emerging as the world’s most famous political prisoner. He eventually helped end apartheid, was elected the first president of a democratic South Africa and became a global advocate for human rights.

    Approaching the spot that marks Mandela’s capture, you will see 50 steel poles that seem to be randomly placed. As you come closer, the poles form an image of Mandela’s face. It’s an extraordinarily moving sculpture that commemorates the Nobel Prize-winner that inspired the world.

    Next, you will see nearby Howick Falls, a spectacular natural wonder that thunders into a turbulent pool that traditional Zulu healers believe has mystical powers. The Zulu name for the falls means “place of the tall one,” a reference to the waterfall’s height of 310 feet. Early settlers called the falls Howick in tribute to the name of the home of Earl Grey, the British Colonial Secretary. Following this visit, you will return to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of moderate walking/standing and there will be some steps to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the vehicle and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with other mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability and should also have a companion to assist them. Lightweight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The tour sequence may vary.

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  • Glimpse of Durban & Coastal Drive

    See the landmarks that define Durban (or “Durbs” as it’s affectionately known) on this relaxing driving tour of the city’s historical downtown and stunningly beautiful coastline.

    After departing from the pier, you will relax in air-conditioned comfort and watch the best of Durban come into view. Driving down palm tree-lined Victoria Embankment, you will soon come upon the Golden Mile beachfront, where you may see Zulus dressed in colorful headdresses and costumes carrying sightseers around in rickshaws. It’s certainly one of the more unusual sights and a glimpse into the cultural diversity in Durban.

    Farther up the coast, you will discover the charms of the beach-blessed village of Umhlanga Rocks and the town of Ballito. You may even spot bottlenose dolphins frolicking and feeding near the shore. So many of them inhabit the waters here that the area is known as the Dolphin Coast.

    In time, you will head back to Durban, pausing for photos at Currie Hill, which offers a sweeping panoramic view of the cosmopolitan city.

    Please note: This tour is primarily panoramic in nature with limited walking at the guests’ discretion during any stops. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the vehicle and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with other mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability and should also have a companion to assist them. Lightweight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. The tour sequence may vary.

    Read More
  • Durban City and Coastal Drive

    See the landmarks that define Durban (or “Durbs” as it’s affectionately known) on this relaxing driving tour of the city’s historical downtown and stunningly beautiful coastline.

    After departing from the pier, you will relax in air-conditioned comfort and watch the best of Durban come into view. Driving down palm tree-lined Victoria Embankment, you will soon come upon the Golden Mile beachfront, where you may see Zulus dressed in colorful headdresses and costumes carrying sightseers around in rickshaws. It’s certainly one of the more unusual sights and a glimpse into the cultural diversity in Durban.

    Farther up the coast, you will discover the charms of the beach-blessed village of Umhlanga Rocks and the town of Ballito. You may even spot bottlenose dolphins frolicking and feeding near the shore. So many of them inhabit the waters here that the area is known as the Dolphin Coast.

    In time, you will return to Durban and pause for photos at Currie Hill, which offers a sweeping panoramic view of the cosmopolitan city. Upon descending, you will continue past many of the key destinations, including historical Market Square. It has been a gathering place since 1824, when it was cleared to be a trading post for settlers and Zulus.

    Before returning to the pier, you will also pass architectural treasures such as the Neo-Baroque City Hall, an ornate post office constructed in 1885, and the Natural History Museum. This latter building from the 1860s is Durban’s oldest surviving structure and was once the courthouse.

    Please note: This tour is primarily panoramic in nature with limited walking at the guests’ discretion during any stops. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the vehicle and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with other mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability and should also have a companion to assist them. Lightweight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. The tour sequence may vary.

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  • Durban City Tour

    Explore Durban's unique blend of diverse Asian, African and European cultural influences during a picturesque, half-day sightseeing tour of this wonderful city.

    Depart the pier for a scenic drive along the palm tree-lined Victoria Embankment. En route, you will pass by the Vasco Da Gama Clock, the Dick King Statue, the imposing Durban Club and the Yacht Club before stopping briefly at Currie Hill for panoramic views and photo opportunities overlooking the city.

    Next, you will proceed to the Durban Botanical Gardens. Upon arrival, you will take a leisurely stroll through the lush gardens, which house a wide variety of local flora and are renowned for their orchid house and rare collection of cycads, a plant dating back to prehistoric times.

    Afterward, your tour will continue with a drive past the Old Market Square, which is reminiscent of the City Hall in Belfast and serves as Durban's municipal offices. You will see the Natural History Museum and Post Office before passing the Old Inland Revenue Building and Reserve Bank. Upon arrival at the Victoria Street Market, commonly known as the Indian Market, some time will be made available for you to browse amongst a splendid array of delicately-fashioned ebony and ivory ornaments, herb and spice stalls, and delightful wooden carvings.

    Your tour will conclude with a drive along the beachfront, also known as the Golden Mile, where Zulus, resplendent in their colorful regalia, transport visitors via rickshaws. Before returning to the pier, you will pass by the Juma Mosque, which is reputedly the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, and is famous for its massive golden dome and turrets. Order of sites visited may vary.

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  • Howick Falls and Ardmore Ceramics

    Embrace the scenic beauty and artistic splendor of South Africa during this visit to picturesque Howick, and a visit to the the Ardmore Ceramic Art Studio.

    Depart the pier for the scenic drive through Pietermaritzburg, then on to Howick. Located approximately 59 miles from Durban in the heart of the Natal Midlands, Howick is home to the magnificent Howick Falls. The falls are situated near the center of Howick, and feature approximately 328 feet of spectacular cascades. Known to the Zulu people as Place of the Tall One, or KwaNogqaza, the falls were first discovered in the early-19th century by European pioneers traveling inland from the coast.

    Next, you will proceed for lunch at the charming Granny Mouse Country House restaurant. After lunch, a visit will be made to the Ardmore Ceramic Art Studio, founded in 1985 by Fèe Halsted-Berning. She resided at Ardmore Farm, located in the Champagne Valley under the shadow of the Drakensberg Mountains. Fèe graduated with degrees in fine arts and ceramics from the University of Natal. Fèe's first student was Bonnie Ntshalintshali, the daughter of a farm employee, and soon began teaching ceramics to other members of Bonnie's family. This led to the creation of Ardmore, the largest ceramic arts studio in South Africa.

    An award-winning artist and teacher in her own right, Fèe has become renowned as a creator of artists and received numerous art awards, including the 1990 Standard Bank Young Artist's Award that she shared with Bonnie Ntshalintshali. Bonnie has also achieved acclaim as one of South Africa's leading ceramic artists, and the large group of sculptors and painters who produce ceramics under the Ardmore label amply demonstrate the diversity of talents that has emerged under Fèe's tutelage. Christie's of London has endorsed Ardmore's exciting diversity of ceramic art as modern collectibles, and the school's impressive body of ceramic creations has captured the attention of collectors worldwide.

    Upon arrival at the Ardmore Ceramic Art Studio, you will explore the ceramic works and legacy of this celebrated art school. Following your visit, you will rejoin your coach for the return drive to the pier. Order of sites visited may vary.

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  • Three Religions Tour

    Experience the diverse religious legacy of Durban during this scenic and informative mosque, cathedral and temple tour.

    Depart the pier for the brief drive to the drop-off point at Durban's Victoria Street Market. From here, you will take a short stroll to the Juma Musjid Muslim Mosque. Built in the early-1890s and rebuilt in 1927, the mosque features a unique blend of Islamic décor and Union period vernacular architecture. Upon arrival, you will take a guided tour inside the mosque.

    Next, you will walk to the St. Emmanuel Catholic Cathedral. Built in 1904, this magnificent cathedral features beautiful architectural accents. The cross, carved out of Carrara marble from Italy, was a gift from the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III of France. The cathedral remains one of Durban's most renowned landmarks to this day.

    En route to the cathedral, you will pass through the historic arcaded bazaar built in 1927. Most of the upper level provides shade to the traders below, and the narrowness of the arcade creates a vibrant trading and living environment in the heart of the city. The arcade runs between Grey Street and Cathedral Road, and emerges across the street from the cathedral.

    Next, you will rejoin your coach for the drive to nearby Chatsworth for a visit to the Hare Krishna Temple. This 12-story building is capped by large domes of white and gold, enveloped by gold dust-coated windows, and features a spectacular blend of modern and traditional architecture. Following your guided tour of the temple, a selection of vegetarian snacks accompanied by soft drinks will be served in the temple's restaurant before rejoining your coach for the return drive to the pier.

    Please note: Shoes must be removed before entering the mosque. Knees and shoulders must be covered inside the mosque; women must also cover their heads with a scarf. This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, and is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or guests who utilize a wheelchair.

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  • Valley of the Thousand Hills

    Explore past and present-day African tribal cultures in the traditional homeland of the Zulu during this half-day visit to the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

    Depart the pier for the drive into the Valley of a Thousand Hills. En route, your guide will inform you about the storied history of this region. Nearly two centuries ago, the Zulu King Shaka, known to historians as the Black Napoleon, subjugated the tribes that today comprise the Kingdom of the Zulu.

    Upon arrival at the Phezulu Safari Park, you will take a guided walking tour to discover the intricacies, ethnic customs and beliefs of the Zulu people. Zulu tales and history will be depicted in energetic, costumed songs and dances by the renowned Gasa clan, who have been performing their unique plays for over 40 years. Dances of courtship and betrothal, war and birth, and the throwing of bones by a witch doctor, or Sangoma, will be set to the mesmerizing beat of the Zulu drum.

    Next, you will walk through the Zulu cultural village to experience fascinating glimpses into African tribal culture. Along the way, you will see traditional beehive huts, learn the meaning behind the different colored beads that adorn the Zulu tribal dress, and watch the local women go about their daily tasks. You will also visit Phezulu's impressive reptile park to view some of Africa's most renowned snakes and crocodiles.

    Tea, coffee and scones will be served during the course of the tour, and there will be time to browse through a wide array of ethnic handicrafts for sale in the well-stocked curio shop, including pottery, Zulu fabric art, woodcarvings, beadwork, and more.

    Following this exciting and informative visit, you will rejoin your coach for the return drive to the pier.

    Please note: This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or guests who utilize a wheelchair. Order of sites visited may vary.

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