We finally have an all-in-one holiday destination that is accessible!
Starlight Cruises, South Africa’s only operator of regular cruises from and around our coast, is introducing their MSC Sinfonia, which will operate cruises from Durban to destinations in the Indian Ocean and Mozambique Channel from November 2009.
Weighing in at 58,600 tons and accommodating close to 2,100 passengers, the MSC Sinfonia will be the largest and most modern ship ever to have operated from a South African port.
The MSC Sinfonia hosts 778 cabins, four of which are accessible, and 135 suites with
private balconies. The ship also boasts three restaurants, seven bars, two pools, a spa, business and conference centre, internet cafÃ©, casino, cigar room, disco, fitness
centre, golf simulator, library, cards room, mini club, teen’s club, exchange office and
medical centre! All tastes and needs are catered for.
All decks are accessible.
There are elevators to all floors and all elevators have deck indicators. The four accessible cabins are on decks 8 and 9 and are inside cabins (numbers 8142, 9051, 9052 and 9149). The cabin doors are 900mm wide and 2000mm high and the cabins have 20m2 of floor space. The floor size of the bathroom is 4m2 with grab rails and a roll-in shower with a fold-down shower seat. There are also wheelchairs available
Children are more than welcome with all the relevant facilities offered. Children up to the age of 18 travel free and the ship has a daily schedule of activities to keep younger children (4 – 12) occupied.
Highly trained hostesses are on hand to make sure that your children are in good hands and well entertained.
Facilities include two swimming pools; two jacuzzis; the sports centre, jogging track, shuffleboard, mini golf, video games room, Pinocchio Mini Club with a children’s playroom, teenagers club and teens disco.
Idle your days away in the Galleria, browsing the many shops and boutiques, or perhaps take a more relaxed time out in the cards room or library. Nights can be spent in the Pasha Club Disco or trying your luck in the San Remo Casino. For those who want quality entertainment take in a show at the magnificent Teatro San Carlo.
Saunas, steam rooms, beauty salon, massages – the MSC Sinfonia has the perfect environment for total relaxation! Go home looking ten years younger and tanned by taking advantage of Le Terme Spa and the Solarium.
The Sport Centre has basketball, volleyball and tennis, even a jogging track! Shuffleboard, mini golf and the golf simulator give great entertainment for young or old! And for those just wanting to soak up some sun, a glorious lounger next to the pool is yours for the asking!
The MSC Sinfonia is the ideal venue for all conferences, product launches and any other company incentives. The fully equipped business centre caters for every business need complete with cinema and breakaway room facilities and for those needing to touch base with land lubbers the Sinfonia@cafe allows internet access for up to six workstations.
All meals are included in the cruise fare making it a virtually all inclusive holiday. The food is a gastronomic delight of international and Italian cuisine. Restaurants include Il Galeone, Il Covo and, if you prefer to eat on deck, the Cafe Del Mare. Outside bars include the Capri Bar and the Beer Bar. There is also a gelateria.
There are two, three and four night cruises to Cape Town, Portuguese Island, Maputo and Barra Lodge. For those of you who are looking for something special there are two peak-season cruises – a five-night Christmas Cruise (from Durban to Barra Lodge, Portuguese Island, Maputo and back to Durban) and an 11-night New Year Cruise – (from Durban to Reunion and Mautritius and back to Durban).
NB : Any person who is mobility impaired or 100% visually impaired must travel with an assistant. This is in order that all passengers “fully enjoy all services offered and, in case of emergency (fire or other), to be able to correctly comply with all on board procedures.”
Many specials are offered including the Partner Special; Buy 2 Get 2 Free; Single Parent Special; Honeymoon; Senior Citizen; Kids Free and Students. They all have terms and conditions with some restricted to certain departure dates.
Not Included in the Fare Port and Baggage Charges, mandatory travel insurance,
currency surcharge – payable onboard, transport to/from ports, gratuities, drinks, shore excursions, babysitting and any items of a personal nature.
There is no smoking allowed in areas where non-smokers and smokers share the same enclosed space. On all MSC vessels, smoking is therefore only allowed indoors in the Cigar Rooms, the Casinos and in one dedicated lounge.
Passengers can smoke outside, on one side of the sun deck, but no smoking is allowed in cabins or on cabin balconies.
Passengers require a valid passport. South African citizens with dual nationality must use their South African passport to exit and enter South Africa. Permanent residents must have their permanent residence endorsed in their foreign passport. “Nowhere” cruises require either an ID book, drivers licence or a valid passport. Children require an original birth certificate.
South African passport holders do not require visa for Mozambique when travelling aboard the MSC Sinfonia. A visa fee of US$25 will apply to all foreign passport holders.
The visa can be obtained on board and do not require any pre-arrangement.
There are no official health requirements for Mozambique.
Precautions: Mozambique is a Malaria area; however shore landings take place during the day when mosquitoes are least active. Please consult your Doctor; Pharmacist or
Travel Clinic for advice.
You can combine your cruise with airfares or book the Avis Luxury Coach Transfer from departure points in Johannesburg & Pretoria. Should you drive to the port, there is limited parking at a rate of R70 per day payable directly to the port. You can also extend your stay with add-on hotel and car hire package options.
All in all this is an excellent way to have an all-inclusive and accessible holiday that fits any budget.
For those who have planned their holidays already – have safe, happy journeys.