It seems that Western Med and Baltic cruises remain popular for South Africans. Picture: Supplied.
It seems that Western Med and Baltic cruises remain popular for South Africans. Picture: Supplied.

Revealed: The trendy cruise destinations South Africans are itching to explore

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Oct 22, 2020

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For a few months, cruising has been non-existent, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

South Africans are particularly fond of cruises as it is an affordable option for those that want inclusive packages and explore a new destination at the same time.

It seems that Western Med and Baltic cruises remain popular according to Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). It offers a wide range of choices on board – from award-winning entertainment and up to 21 cosmopolitan dining options and accommodation to suit any type of traveller.

Nick Wilkinson, Regional Vice President Business Development Middle East & Africa for NCL, said Western Mediterranean and Baltic cruises have long been bestsellers in the South African market. Even while South Africa was in lockdown, we have received enquiries and even forward bookings for these itineraries. These destinations are relatively accessible from South Africa and usually only require one visa – two elements that are important for South Africans when considering any holiday,” he said.

Western Mediterranean cruises usually include stops at ports in Spain, Italy and France.

In contrast to the sun-splashed Med, Baltic cruises offer a completely different experience – a taste of the Northern Hemisphere's medieval cobbled streets and cultural experiences from opera and ballet to adventures galore in the great outdoors. Travellers can experience destinations such as Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.

Local cruises

Cruise Arabia and Africa online have reported that more than half of all cruises from Cape Town for 2021 are roundtrip itineraries, based on forward-looking itineraries.

The 2021/2022 cruise season will bring more choice to the local cruise line up. Norwegian Jade will make NCL history as the first ship in their fleet to offer roundtrip cruises from Cape Town. The ship is set to make her South African debut from December 2021 through January 2022.

The 12-day Extraordinary Journey will include visits to Lüderitz, Walvis Bay and Durban, and will feature overnight calls in Cape Town and Richard's Bay along South Africa's stunning coastline.

Red list

Note that many countries may be on South Africa’s ‘Red List’ so be mindful when booking any cruise.

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