Never been on a cruise? It may be the perfect way to spend your holiday without any hassle.
Once taking a ship to another country was seen as taking a long-haul taxi to another country, but since the first official cruise in 1901 it's become a luxurious slow-travel mode of transport for those who have the cash and time to explore the world in comfort.
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From South Africa, we have big cruise terminals in Cape Town and Durban, the perfect bases to jump-start your holiday. From here you could take cruises around Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, including Mozambique, Mauritius and Reunion. MSC Musica for example will be cruising the whole summer from November 2018 to April 2019 in this area.
But why should you consider going on a cruise?
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It's not only for the Roses of the world - Jacks can also go on a luxury cruise
It may have started out as a sea-faring playground for the rich and famous, but today cruises have streamlined their packages to suit most people's budgets, but you'll still feel like you're catching some rays in the lap of comfort.
If you really want to hang out with a certain demographic - seniors, under 30s, singles or even a certain fandom - there are many special cruises that are thematic that will cater to your specific mingling needs.
Cruises can take the hassle out of a potentially stressful travel experience
While holidays are supposed to relax, you may end up needing a holiday from your holiday, especially travelling with your family or in a group. On a cruise, however, you'll find true relaxation as everything is planned for you.
Cruises offer daily activities, water parks, clubs, bars and even theatre to entertain you, and you don't have to travel anywhere. Even excursions on land are taken care of, where you'll be able to travel to a few places without having to pack and unpack multiple times. No more suitcase weariness!
PICS: Virgin heading into the cruise business with women at the helm of the Scarlet Lady
(Almost) everything is included, perfect for budget-conscious travellers
On holidays your budget tends to get stretched to its limit, and you end up at home with a head full of memories but a bank account full of zeros. While cruises could be a little pricey, almost everything is included in your fare, making for easy budgeting beforehand.
Normally included are all meals at a variety of restaurants, drinks and entertainment options, and the extra things you'll know the costs of beforehand and just add it to your cruise credit so you never overspend. And never seeing a bill will definitely improve your holiday mood.
Any kind of squad can find their perfect holiday on a cruise
Big or small families, group of friends or couples - everyone can be catered to on a cruise and you don't have to do everything together. While Mom wants to splash in the pool, the teenager can play some sports in the designated areas and the annoying nephew can be entertained by costumed entertainers while you relax.
Cruises also don't have an age limit - there are enough facilities for young and old to have the most fun on a cruise ship, whether you want to do nothing or pack your holiday full of activities. The choice is yours.
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You get to see many places in one go
What better way to explore a region than on a cruise that stops in multiple ports in one journey? If you're the kind of traveller that like a quick view of a place and then move on to the next, then a cruise is for you. While you may not have that much time, it's also a great way to see places that are difficult to reach by land and sky, and if you really want to see more you can organise a longer stay later.
Think of a cruise as a teaser buffet of places that could be awesome to check out more in-depth, and you only have to unpack your bags once. There is also such a wide range of itineraries on many cruises - all of which offer similar packages - so you have your pick of where you want to go, and maybe discover a place you would never have thought of visiting before.
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