Popular cruises to plan for 2019- South Africa

Thinking of taking a cruise next year? You should start planning now, as cruise enthusiasts are already prepping for their 2019 holidays - but which one should you go for?

From South Africa, we have big cruise terminals in Cape Town and Durban, the perfect bases to jump-start your holiday, but some cruises are more popular than others.

From Durban, you can explore the Mozambique coast and islands, and from Cape Town, you can take a desert detour to Namibia's Walvis Bay. And instead of flying between the two SA cities, why not take the cruise route one-way for a different travel experience?

 Plan your next cruise with MSC's most popular cruises for 2019:

Local cruises with MSC Musica
Durban to Portuguese Island

Off the coast of Mozambique is an uninhabited nature reserve perfect for an island escape. MSC has invested in all kinds of architecture to improve your experiences, and activities on the island include shopping local at a Portuguese Origins Market, relaxing on the beach, a specially designed Kids Zone and enjoying a beach braai.

Ship: MSC Musica
Length of trip: 4 days, 3 nights
Average cost per person sharing: R5 500
Itinerary: Durban - Portuguese Island - Durban
2019 Dates: February - April, November to December 
SEE: Cruising Cozumel, Havana and Montego Bay! Plus other cool cruise options for locals

 Durban to Pomene

Nestled between Mozambique's Maputo and Pemba stretches 2 000km of white beaches, all of which can be experienced at the remote but pristine Pomene. Besides beach and sea, there are also mangroves to explore and beautiful snorkelling and diving spots that will amaze you. 

Length of trip: 5 days, 4 nights
Average cost per person sharing: R6 000
Itinerary: Durban - Sea -  Pomene - Sea - Durban
2019 Dates: February - April, December

Cape Town to Walvis Bay

On the opposite side of the continent you can take a trip to Namibia's Walvis Bay from Cape Town, where you can catch flamingos and pelicans in its iconic lagoon or take a trip to the nearby town of Swakopmund - a piece of Germany in Africa. You can also opt for some more extreme adventures like quad-biking, sandboarding or taking on Dune 7, one of the tallest dunes in the world.

Length of trip: 5 days, 4 nights
Average cost per person sharing: R7 600
Itinerary: Cape Town - Sea - Walvis Bay - Luderitz - Sea - Cape Town
2019 Dates: January
SEE: MSC Cruises' last straw for single-use plastic on their global fleet 

Durban to Cape Town

You can hop from one port city to another, and see South Africa's coastline from the ocean's perspective. You'll be at sea for two days on the MSC Musica, an ecological cruise ship that greets its passengers with a three-tier waterfall and a see-through piano suspended on a crystal floor above a pool. Kids can escape their parents (and vice versa) with special Kid and Teen clubs, and an array of restaurants and entertainment venues will make fond new memories on the sea.

Length of trip: 4 days, 3 nights
Average cost per person sharing: R4 795
Itinerary: Durban - Sea - Sea - Cape Town
2019 Dates: January 

Popular international cruise ships to try out in 2019
MSC Meraviglia

The first of MSC's new generation of cruise ships to come online, Meraviglia will take you on itineraries through the Mediterranean from Italy to Spain to France, explore the best of northern European cities like Ireland and Hamburg all the way to the Arctic Circle, or take on the Baltic Sea with stops at cities like Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. She will also be making her way to the Caribbean sailing through Cuba and the Antilles archipelago near the Gulf of Mexico.

Besides all the grand amenities, it also has an MSC Yacht Club - a ship within a ship where you can lounge in privacy and bathe in its exclusivity when the crowds get too much.

 MSC Grandiosa

MSC's Grandiosa is their newest state-of-the-art cruise ship that will offer 10 and 13-night itineraries sailing through the Western Mediterranean and will disembark from Genoa, Italy or Marseille, France. It will have two brand new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea, a LED dome and new exciting dining options.

Grandiosa will be taking its maiden voyage from Hamburg to Genoa on 10 November 2019, which bookings are already open exclusively to MSC Voyagers Club members, while normal guests can start booking from 10 October. Its Western Mediterranean season is also open for bookings, which will start sailing from 23 November and stopping over in beautiful and historic ports for seven nights like Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta and Barcelona. 

MSC Bellissima

The next cruise ship to come into service in March 2019 is the MSC Bellissima that will also take on the European circuit alongside the coastlines of Naples, Messina, Valletta, Barcelona, Marseille and Genoa. Onboard will await an 80-metre-long LED dome lined with 20 bars and 10 restaurants.

The Water Park will be themed according to a desert oasis and you can go gym to sweat off that buffet food complete with a sea view and training programmes.

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