South African winters are mild. We have the Winelands with all of its adventurous festivals to keep us active, and who can deny the call of the Bush, during the winter months - with the likes of Kruger dishing up enthralling wildlife sightings.
But if you've been itching to do something different, something warm and inviting - the Mediterranean is certainly worth a consideration.
The Med, almost entirely enclosed by land, although connected to the Atlantic Ocean, laps the shores of some sought-after countries, including Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia and the darling of the Med - Greece.
One way to head north would be to hit cruise control - since it is a popular part of the world's cruise routes, with some of the most famous liners adding it the Mediterranean to their itineraries.
MSC Cruises offers over 420 itineraries in some of the most popular and on-trend destinations during the Northern Hemisphere summer. And for this season they will be offering some 260 sailings along the Western and Eastern parts of the Mediterranean.
Their Western Offering has a brand-new Flagship MSC Bellisima doing the rounds, while their Eastern Mediterranean offering has a new 12-night cruise, which include two days in Haifa, Israel to explore the famous mountainside gardens. You can also discover the islands of Cyprus, Rhodes and Mykonos during this extended cruise.
READ: Your ship's coming in! Popular cruises to plan for 2019
Here are a few highlights from each region -click here for other options or more details:
The Company’s brand-new flagship, MSC Bellissima, along with five other MSC Cruises’ ships – MSC Seaview, MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia, MSC Poesia and MSC Preziosa – will be sailing in the Western Mediterranean.
MSC Cruises offers a variety of cruise itineraries, ranging from three to 12 nights in length, to some 130 ports in this region.
The MSC Seaview offers seven different locations in seven nights across three countries. Highlights include:
- Civitavecchia, with trips to historic Rome.
A MSC Poesia offers a 12-night cruise to a number of sought-after destinations. Highlights include:
- Tenerife in the Canary Islands
Cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean are really something special and MSC Cruises is increasing its capacity to offer a choice of five ships and over 130 sailings.
These destinations include unique islands in the world, with glistening blue water and diverse landscapes that will leave a lasting impression.
Departing from iconic Venice, Italy – the perfect location to stay a night before or after a cruise – guests can select from the best options of week-long cruises offered by MSC Magnifica, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera and MSC Lirica.
These ships call at some of the most spectacular destinations, including:
MSC Lirica is also deployed in the region, offering a range of itineraries. Firstly, there are brand new three- and four-night short cruises from Venice. Destinations include:
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