Along with the arrival of the MSC Opera, and the return of the MSC Sinfonia, MSC Starlight Cruises will be adding new ports of call to the 2012/2013 cruise season.
The MSC Opera will arrive in Cape Town on 20 November 2012, and will proceed on to Durban where she will be based for the summer season, operating the popular three- and four-night cruises to Maputo, Portuguese Island and Barra Lodge in Mozambique.
MSC Opera has 856 cabins of which 172 are balcony cabins and 28 are balcony suites. The ship has four restaurants, eleven bars, two pools, and two whirlpools. The liner boasts the MSC Aurea Spa and Solarium, a disco, video games room, internet café, casino, team building facilities and a medical centre.
The ship has a wonderful array of duty free shopping and caters for kids with the Buffalo Bill children’s play area. Additional facilities include the ‘Cotton Club’ bar and a stage on deck for outdoor entertainment.
The ever-popular Christmas cruise has been changed slightly, sailing to Portuguese Island and then on to the beach village of Anakoa in Madagascar. This unspoilt port of call is known for its diving, fishing and surfing alongside a quaint fishing village where the locals still craft seaworthy dhows right on the beach.
An 11-night New Year cruise on board MSC Opera has also seen a new addition, with New Year’s eve celebrated under the skies off Reunion. The MSC Opera then arrives in Mauritius on New Year’s day where the ship will remain in port for three nights.
The MSC Opera also has Port Elizabeth as a port of call towards the end of her season, and will perform a couple of cruises out of Cape Town to Mossel Bay, Walvis Bay, and Luderitz before leaving South African shores for the European summer.
Return of the MSC Sinfonia
The MSC Sinfonia will arrive back in South Africa on 28 November 2012, for her fourth season in local waters, allowing the Cape Town market a more luxurious cruising option out of their home port.
A firm favourite in South Africa, she will operate a series of cruises to Mossel Bay, Hermanus, Walvis Bay, Luderitz, and - for the first time ever - an 11-night roundtrip cruise to Walvis Bay and St. Helena. Long a requested destination for MSC to visit, St Helena is one of the most isolated islands in the world, and used to serve as an important rendezvous point and source of food for ships that were travelling from Asia en route to Europe.
On 18 February2013 MSC Sinfonia will take over the Portuguese Island, Maputo and Barra Lodge cruises from the MSC Opera out of Durban, and will operate an extended season until 12 April 2013. This includes school holidays and Easter weekend, which are sure to be in huge demand.
Another new destination for the ship will be Anakoa (Madagascar) as part of a seven-night cruise including Portuguese Island and Maputo, This departure is scheduled for 25 March 2013.
All aboard for the long haul?
For the real cruise enthusiasts there is a long cruise scheduled to Mauritius, Reunion and Ile St Marie in Madagascar on 6 February. Of course, there are also the repositioning cruises: those to and from Italy to Cape Town.
Bookings for the new season are already open for both MSC Opera and MSC Sinfonia, with attractive offers for early bookings as well as special promotions for senior citizens and honeymooners.
For more information, visit www.mscstarlight.co.za.