MSC Melody brings good times to SA

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - CRUISING -

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.

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