Cruise Ship Passengers Marooned for Days As Ship Stranded by Gale-Force Winds

Strong winds have caused a cruise ship to be stranded off the coast of South Africa near Cape Town for two days.

The MSC Musica was scheduled to dock in Cape Town's Table Bay on Thursday, but strong winds made it impossible.

Port authorities told local media that the wait was coming to an end, and passengers were scheduled to disembark in Cape Town Saturday as the strong winds died down.

"It will only be coming in as soon as the wind comes down, so some time tomorrow (Saturday) only," a port control spokesperson told South Africa's News24.

Ross Volk, managing director of MSC Cruises, told TimesLive Saturday the cruise line had put on a range of entertainments for passengers while they were stranded. He said the company had "designed an entertainment regimen that will keep passengers engaged and interactive" while the vessel remained anchored.

Volk added: "There are sufficient provisions on board. The wellbeing of the passengers is of primary importance to us and that's been factored into everything that's going on, and we've attempted to communicate with passengers as best we can."

Cape Town was pummelled earlier in the week by a gale force south-easterner called the Cape Doctor. The gale hit the city with ferocious 40-50 kph gusts on Friday, reported the South African, with the winds forecast to reduce in strength by late Friday.

MSC Cruises did not immediately respond to a request for comment.