South Africa will welcome the MSC Poesia in 2024 as the vessel makes its way around the world in 120-days.
MSC Cruises has announced the final itinerary for its biggest annual voyage in 2024. The MSC World Cruise, set to depart on 5 January, will follow a new route that includes 52 destinations in 31 different countries. South Africa is included as a new addition to the trip.
The world cruise begins in the idyllic fishing village of Portofino in Italy, picking up passengers in nearby Marseille in France and Barcelona in Spain before sailing the Mediterranean Sea.
Before transiting through the Suez Canal, the MSC Poesia will dock in Jerusalem and Egypt. The vessel then moves on to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia before spending seven days at sea rounding the Horn of Africa and docking in Mombasa, Kenya, on 2 February.
Leaving Kenya signals the African island-hop segment of the cruise, and over the next two weeks, the MSC Poesia will visit Zanzibar, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, and the Portuguese Island (Inhaca Archipelago) off the coast of Mozambique.
The vessel plans to dock briefly in Durban on 16 February and Gqeberha two days later. Only one overnight stop in South Africa is planned for the voyage, with the MSC Poesia spending 20 and 21 February docked in Cape Town, allowing guests to “see everything Cape Town is famed for, including the striking Table Mountain” MSC said in a statement.
After sailing South Africa’s shores, the cruise takes passengers to Walvis Bay in Namibia and then to the isolated island of St Helena before a five-day journey across the South Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The MSC Poesia’s arrival in South America in early March marks the world cruise’s halfway point.
“Sailing up the mighty Amazon River as far as Manaus, guests will find themselves in the heart of the world-famous Amazon rainforest,” said the cruise liner.
“In Brazil, guests will also be treated to calls at Salvador de Bahia and Belém, as well as an overnight stop in Rio de Janeiro, with plenty of time to soak up the sun on Copacabana beach, and the famous nightlife.”
The MSC Poesia will also visit the Caribbean, with stops in Saint Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and the cruise company’s private island, Ocean Cay, en route to North America.
The voyage will spend eight days sailing around the United States, with stops in Miami and New York, before arriving in Canada in early April.
On its return journey to Europe, the MSC Poesia will visit Greenland and Iceland before arriving in the United Kingdom on day 112 of the voyage. Ending the world cruise are stops in France, the Netherlands, and Germany.
The MSC Poesia, christened at the Port of Dover in 2008 by actress Sophia Loren, is a 16-deck ship with more than 1,200 cabins and almost as many crew members.
The ship features a foyer waterfall, spa, Zen Garden, basketball court, gym, and dedicated kids’ entertainment area. It also has three swimming pools, four whirlpools, and a giant poolside cinema screen.
Prices for the MSC World Cruise 2024 have not yet been made public, and travellers interested in joining the voyage have been advised to contact their travel agencies and reserve their spot aboard by paying a “15% deposit within seven calendar days from the booking confirmation date.”