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16 Nights aboard MSC Seaside
6 Apr 2025
6 Apr 2025
Miami is called the gateway to the Americas, and it’s indeed a very glamourous global city to explore at the start or end of an MSC Caribbean and Antilles cruise. Home to many cultures, the city of Miami sizzles with flavours from the Americas, beginning with Cuba and the Little Havana neighbourhood – one of the most historically significant places, while Wynwood is famous for its wall art and Puerto Rican history. Across Biscayne Bay lies the city of Miami Beach, home to the world-famous South Beach. An MSC-arranged guided private tour opens up a world of possibilities for you: enjoy the beach, take in the city’s Art Deco architecture and enjoy a drink on legendary Ocean Drive, where you can people watch, and perhaps spot a celebrity. If time permits, take a stroll on artsy Lincoln Road packed with street side cafes and shops. Facing the MSC Cruises port in downtown Miami is Bayside Marketplace – a lively commercial centre that is a staging area for boat tours of Miami. Seeing the city from the water, with its impressive skyline and waterfront mansions, is an experience in itself. The downtown area also boasts the dazzling Performing Arts Centre, the Museum of Science, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (known as the PAMM), scenic Bayfront Park and the arena where the 3-time NBA champion Miami Heat basketball team plays. Miami is renowned for its shopping. Hop on a tour to see the major city sights followed by retail therapy at one of Miami’s largest and newest shopping malls: Dolphin Mall. With more than 240 retail outlets, you’re bound to need a bit of room in your luggage for your purchases. Luckily, there are several luggage stores at the mall to fill that need. Head west past the city into untamed wilderness on an MSC excursion into the Everglades. At this national park where water is the central feature, unlike any other in North America, nature enthusiasts can hop on an airboat tour through the swampland and waterways to spot alligators and a variety of birds.
Both the French and the Dutch claim the island of St. Maarten. The powers signed a treaty in 1648 that divided the island between them, though the two sides have distinct cultural characteristics. But it is their differences that add to the charm of this Caribbean hideaway and makes for some of the most delightful cuisine known throughout the world. Between Great Bay and the Great Salt Pond the Dutch capital Philipsburg fills a small stretch of land, and two main roads “Front Street and Back Street” cut across the city. Front Street is the main thoroughfare, featuring traditional West Indian architecture and duty –free shopping of imported goods and native crafts .
“One beach a day,” Antigua’s motto, refers to the island’s 365 beautiful beaches that are famous, secret or even set in volcanic craters. There’s a beach for every lifestyle, for those who are social and ones who seek solitude. When you arrive on an MSC Caribbean and Antilles cruise in the port of St. John’s, the capital and commercial centre of Antigua and Barbuda, embrace the city’s colourfully vi-brant houses dating to its British colonial period, along with the evocative white baroque towers of St. John’s Cathedral, and the Fort James and Barrington fortresses. The laid-back cosmopolitan city, with its distinctly British flair, is renowned for its shopping at luxury boutiques and high-end shopping malls. Beyond the city, book an MSC excursion to the historic Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour, dedicated to Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was stationed in the West Indies be-tween 1784 and 1787. The shipyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest of Antigua’s National Parks and still remains a working dockyard for numerous yachts and ships. Beautifully restored, its Georgian buildings in wood and stone date to the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Between April and the beginning of May, the Dockyard is the venue for some of the most important sailing regattas in the world, such as Antigua Sailing Week. The excursion continues on to visit the landmark ruins at Shirley Heights of-fering breath-taking vistas of English Harbour. If an excursion in nature appeals to you, head to Stingray City to swim with friendly southern stingrays in crystal-clear water. Or discover Antigua’s lush rainforest from a bird’s-eye perspective as you navigate through the treetops on a guided canopy tour that will have you walking over a suspension bridge and traversing zip lines over a spectacular gorge.
The island of Barbados was discovered by the Portuguese in 1536, but throughout its colonial history, which ended with the Declaration of Independence in 1966, Barbados was under British sovereignty. This is strongly reflected in the old capital of Bridgetown which has a decidedly English character; so much so that there is even a miniature of London’s Trafalgar Square, complete with a statue of Lord Nelson. The city is small and there are many excellent walking tours
Funchal is the very soul of Portugal. Flowers andcolorful houses dot the panorama. Scenic excursionsfeature a unique “basket ride” down the mountainside.
Strung out over a series of hills facing the glistening waters of the broad estuary of the Tejo, Lisbon is one of Europe’s most handsome cities. Although its modern suburbs are ungainly, the historic centre is relatively compact and easy to explore in just a day when your MSC cruise takes you to the Lisbon. The oldest part of the city, the warren of streets that make up the Alfama, sits below the spectacularly sited Moorish Castelo de São Jorge, its ruined walls facing another hill, the Bairro Alto or upper town, famed for its bars, restaurants and vibrant nightlife. The valley between these hills makes up the Baixa., or lower town. The tall, imposing buildings that make up the Baixa (Lower Town) house some of Lisbon’s most interesting shops and cafés. A shore excursion on your MSC Mediterranean cruise can be the opportunity to reach via a narrow walkway the impressive Torre de Belém (Tower of Belém), an iconic symbol of Lisbon. It typifies M anueline style that was prominent during the reign of King Manuel, its windows and stairways embellished with arches and decorative symbols representing Portugal’s explorations into the New World. Built as a fortress to defend the mouth of the River Tejo, it took years to complete, though when it opened in 1520 it would have been near the centre of the river – the earthquake of 1755 shifted the river’s course. Today, visitors are free to explore the tower’s various levels, which include a terrace facing the river from where artillery would hav ed been fired. You can then climb a very steep spiral staircase up four lev el – framed view of the river – to a top terrace where you get a blowy panorama of Belém.
Formerly a Roman settlement, Valencia is a charismatic port city on the coast of Spain, and an MSC Mediterranean Cruises destination. Its marriage of modern and ancient architecture is a sight to behold – from the futuristic stylings of the City of Arts and Sciences to the 13th-centry Valencia Cathedral. Walk around its avenues and squares and soak up the city’s spellbinding energy. For restful pursuits, take in the beauty of its protected natural wonders including Albufera National Park.
16 Nights aboard MSC Seaside
Departs 06 Apr 2025