MSC Melody brings good times to SA
MSC Starlight correspondent THE popular cruise ship MSC Melody arrived in Cape Town on December 6 to start her 2011/12 season of cruises out of Cape Town to Walvis Bay and Mossel Bay, and from Durban to the exotic Indian Ocean cruise destinations of Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion.
The classic 1 500-passenger ship, which has proved so popular in South Africa during previous cruise seasons, left Genoa in Italy on November 18 for her 18-night southbound cruise.
Melody departed the same day on her opening cruise of the South African season – a two-night Fun Cruise to Nowhere.
The ship’s calendar will feature both Indian and Atlantic Ocean itineraries out of Durban and Cape Town through to February 20, 2012 when she will return to the Mediterranean via Walvis Bay in Namibia, Jamestown (St Helena), Dakar (Senegal), Arrecife de Lanzarote (Canary Islands) and Cadiz and Palamos in Spain, before arriving back in Genoa.
The festive season will keep the ship in the tropics with a 10-night Christmas cruise to Mauritius followed by a six-night New Year cruise to the popular Fort Dauphin in Madagascar.
MSC Melody is also offering an 11-night Island Discovery cruise in January which sees her gracing the shores of the islands of Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius. A new stop at the unspoilt Madagascan island of Ile St Marie is sure to be a highlight for every passenger. St Dennis, capital of the French island of Reunion, offers the wonderful sophistication of downtown Paris in a tropical climate
Mauritius is still one of South Africa’s favourite playgrounds, with optional excur- sions offered on board covering everything from the beaches at Grand Baie and Ile Aux Cerf to the Pamplemouse Botanical Gardens and the markets and shopping district of Curepipe. Visitors can even hike the volcanic mountains to enjoy panoramic views of the rainforest.
The Cape cruises in the Atlantic hold the promise of whale and dolphin sightings plus a rich variety of migrant seabirds, and long days brought to a close with glorious sunsets across the ocean.
Guests can also expect magnificent views of the Cape Peninsula’s mountains from the sea. They will also enjoy the rare treat of sailing past both Cape Point (where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet) and Cape Agulhas (Africa’s southernmost tip) on the cruises to Mossel Bay and the four coastal cruises between Cape Town and Durban, and vice versa. Passengers will quickly understand why early explorers named the peninsula the “Fairest Cape of All”.
MSC Melody is the smallest ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet, and is designed to meet the highest standards of Italian style and sophistication while offering a relaxed and informal cruise ship experience. With a capacity of just over 1 500 guests, Melody creates a welcoming, even intimate feel on board, especially being the only ship designed with family in mind and five-bed cabins available. Graceful public areas with grand high ceilings lend a sense of openness, with comfortable, stylish staterooms which are spacious and well-appointed. The ship’s retractable transparent Magrodome allows you to enjoy one of the two swimming pools and whirlpools even if the skies cloud over.
See the MSC Starlight advertisement on page 7.
THE VESSEL: MSC Melody never loses her appeal among South Africans wanting an exciting cruise.