Cape Town - Cruising is growing in popularity among South African travellers, who favour the appeal of knowing upfront what the cost of their holiday will be and enjoy the convenience of having to unpack only once and enjoy a multitude of destinations.

The 2017 cruise season is almost upon us, so here are some top picks for sailing the high seas in the coming year:

Spring fever in the Med

South Africans first choice when it comes to cruising overseas, the Mediterranean gives travellers an opportunity to experience some of the Western World's most treasured historic and cultural destinations.

Most Mediterranean cruises span one week, covering either the western or eastern Med with the main seasons for cruising being from March to October.

The western Mediterranean itineraries extend from Italy, France and Spain to North Africa and even the Canary Islands, with such destinations as Barcelona, Tangiers, Monte Carlo, Nice and Florence popular ports of call.

Greece, Turkey, Italy and the Adriatic are destinations passengers selecting the eastern Mediterranean itineraries can look forward to, with Venice, Athens, Istanbul and the Green and Turkish islands included in various itineraries.


Our Top Pick:

10 Night Adriatic Dream with Holland America

Ship: MS Westerdam

Departure date: 15th Aug 2017

Rate: R29 593pps (interior cabin)

Itinerary: Rome, Messina, Malta, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Venice

Includes all meals & entertainment onboard, port charges included


Untamed wilderness of Antarctica

Wild and untamed, the Antarctic is an attractive, once-in-a-lifetime option for the adventurer at heart. One of the world's last wilderness areas, the Antarctic's glaciers and icebergs provide a spectacular backdrop to colonies of penguins and lone polar bears.

Cruises to the Antarctic sail in the polar summer, between October and March, when the weather is at its mildest. Larger ships tend to depart from Buenos Aires or Valparaiso and include an Antarctic experience within their “round the horn” cruise. South America-only cruises are also available and generally call at such destinations as Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo.

Our Top Pick:

G Adventures - Antarctica Classic - 11days, Ushuaia to Ushuaia

2nd, 30th Jan 2017: From R125 400

4th March 2017: From R109 300

13th March 2017: From R103 500

12th Dec 2017: From R89 039


A taste of Arabia

With two popular cruising hubs in the Middle East - Dubai and Abu Dhabi, new cruise terminal infrastructure and plenty of flights to both cities - the popularity of Middle East cruises is increasing for South Africans.

With itineraries including stops at these destinations, as well as Oman, travellers will experience all the flavours of Arabia.

We recommend stopping over a few days in Abu Dhabi, which recently launched its new cruise terminal, and offers a range of experiences that can be enjoyed over a day or two, including Ferrari World, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and, coming soon, the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Our Top Pick:

7 Day Dubai, Oman, United Arab Emirates Cruise with Costa Cruiselines

Ship: MS Costa neo Riviera

Departure Date: 3rd March 2017

Rate: From R6 917pps (interior cabin)

Itinerary: Dubai, Muscat, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

Includes all meals & entertainment onboard, port charges included

Adapted from a press release for IOL