MSC Cruises are offering onboard credit up to $600pp (based on duration of cruise and cabin type booked). Enjoy credit on MSC sailings from 1 February 2020 till 30 April 2021 (selected departures excluded). Minimum onboard credit offered is AU$250pp. (*See T&Cs below)
14 Night cruise departing roundtrip from Forte de France onboard MSC Splendida.
Eco-ship MSC Splendida carries you in stylish luxury to the most desirable cruise destinations in the world, while being a beautiful destination in her own right.
You’ll love the live music and the extraordinary variety of designer-themed bars and restaurants with many gourmet choices to explore, from authentic Mediterranean specialities to spicy Tex-Mex. Complete the night with a world-class show in The Strand Theatre, a winning streak in the Royal Palm Casino or dancing in the Club 33 Disco.
There’s also a vast array of sports facilities including four swimming pools, a jogging track, squash court and ultramodern gym.
After your exertions, you can relax in the MSC Aurea Spa with pampering Balinese massages, thalassotherapy, advanced beauty treatments, a Turkish bath, sauna, whirlpool and solarium.
Or sunbathe in the peace and privacy of the Top 18 sun deck offering stunning sea views, its own dedicated spa service and bar menu with complimentary fruit skewers; Kids and Teens can also enjoy fabulous facilities and clubs of their own.
Nestling in the prestigious foredecks, there’s the exclusive MSC Yacht Club, a luxurious ship-within-a-ship with 71 spacious suites with its own Concierge Reception, 24-hour butler service, private Top Sail Lounge, pool deck and bar.
With so much aboard, every day on MSC Splendida brings travellers of all ages new things to explore.
Highlights of this cruise:
Forte de France, Martinique
Among the great pleasures that disembarking from an MSC cruise ship at Fort-de-France, Martinique can grant you is the immediate possibility of bathing in the Caribbean Sea.
Just stroll down to the Anse Mitan beach in the Trois-Ilets, located on a promontory that protects the interior of Martinique’s main bay; or to the nearby Anse à l'Ane: white beaches, coconut trees for shade and the luxurious inland vegetation as a background, the perfect setting for a holiday in the Caribbean.
Less than 20 minutes away from the island’s capital, in Balata, there is a Botanical Garden set up in the heart of the rainforest. It has over 3000 species of tropical plants and flowers that can be observed along trails some of which are partly suspended. Nearby, you will also find Balata’s Sacre Coeur, a miniature replica of the basilica in Montmartre, Paris.
Here, from the slopes of Pitons du Carbet, you can admire a beautiful view spanning from the bay of Fort-de-France to Pointe du Bout. Of the city churches in the capital, the St. Louis Cathedral, constructed by the architect Henry Pick in 1895, is worth a visit. Because the church had to stand up to fire and hurricane winds, it Roman-Byzantine style and its 57-metre-tall tower were modified to the need of keeping the church profile simple.
To enjoy the most picturesque view of the bay and the port, take an excursion to Fort Saint-Louis, which was constructed by the French in 1640 (it continued to be used up till the Second World War) on the eastern edge of Flamands Bay. There is, however, another way of experiencing the island’s French heritage: visiting the island’s rhum distillery, as the French call rum. The Depaz distillery has been producing the national beverage since 1651, when it was constructed by the Depaz family on their private lands in the northeast of the island, at the feet of the Mont Pelée volcano.
One of the memories that many visitors to Guadeloupe in Pointe-à-Pitre retain is the flavours and sounds of its many small markets. For example, the Central Market, also called the Saint Antoine Market, located on a square of the same name in full city centre; the Flower Market on Gourbeyre Square, in front of the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul; and the Keruland Port Market on the Caribbean Sea, right in front of your MSC cruise ship.
A visit to the Guadeloupe National Park, designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, will also leave a mark. Located in the south of Basse-Terre, the park holds one of the most beautiful woods in the Antilles, which can be reached by following the Route de l’Habituée, which cuts the park in two.
Next, tackle an excursion to the Soufrière Volcano and to the three waterfalls of Carbet nearby. The second waterfall is the most accessible. One hundred and ten meters in height, it can be admired from a suspended bridge. If you are interested in Basse-Terre archaeological sites, visit the Roches Gravées (Engraved Rocks) located in Trois-Rivières, in the southern part of the island; or those in Plessis in the north. Or grant yourself an excursion to the Désirade geological reserve. French relics can be admired at Fort Delgres, built in 1650 to defend Guadeloupe from the British.
Passengers of an MSC cruise will also be able to admire the Domaine de Valombreuse Botanical Garden. Inserted between the mountains and the sea, it is a riot of tropical plants and flowers, which only a few other gardens in the world can equal. To get a full taste of the spirit of the island, make sure to visit the Musée du Rhum in Sainte-Rose during your stay. Housed in the Reimonenq Distillery, it reveals the techniques and secrets of the making of rum. You can view a series of historical tools used for cutting, working and transforming sugar cane into rum, as well as old incisions, objects and documents.
Castries, St Lucia
A holiday in Castries, the capital of Saint Lucia, cannot be complete without a visit to Howelton House.
The birthplace of Caribelle Batik, it located in the hills above Castries and the Caribbean Sea. Here, it is possible to admire the creation of splendid hand-painted fabrics that become batik, clothes and accessories even before purchasing them and taking them back to your MSC cruise ship.
Other purchases can be made in the Central Market, where you can find the work of local artisans: items made of wood, pottery, baskets and objects made of natural fibres.
At Castries, duty free purchases can be made at La Place Carenage and Pointe Seraphine shopping centres, which are considered by many to be the best in the Caribbean.
To clear your mind, a trip to Marigot Bay, named the most beautiful bay of the Caribbean by the English writer James Michener, is best. Similar to a fjord in its depth, it was used as a refuge by pirates for many years and by the German U-boats in the last world war.
Moving south along the coast, you will reach Anse La Raye, which has been chosen as the setting for films, including those with Sophia Loren, due to its beauty. It is a characteristic fishing village along the coast. Here, you can feel black magic, Obeah (similar to voodoo), in the air and encounter the Obeah-men, the shamans, which are still respected and feared by the locals.
An excursion to the eastern coast will take you to the wildest part of the island. You also should not miss out on a visit to the Fregate Island Natural Reserve, where herons, boa constrictors and fer-de-lances (a species of viper) find a refuge. There are many hikes, off-roading excursions and adventure parks to choose from.
You should also make a point of going to Anse l'Ivrogne Beach, which is also known as the Black Hole. Here, the sea bottom drops rapidly to a depth of 600 metres.
When you arrive to Barbados on an MSC cruise ship, you should begin your exploration with the capital, Bridgetown. Among the many attractions in this small Caribbean city, pause to admire its many colonial buildings, the Parliament Building and the statue of Lord Nelson in what today is called the National Heroes Square.
The current St. John's Parish Church is the fifth reconstruction of the oldest local church. It dates to 1836. Its interior hosts a sculpture by an 18th century British artist Richard Westmacott, while its churchyard contains the tomb of Ferdinando Paleologus, a direct descendent of the brother of Constantine XI, the last Byzantine emperor.
The most intriguing neighbourhood to visit is that of St. Andrew. Here you will find Chalky Mount Potteries, an artisan pottery centre, and the Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill, which can serve as a great background for a photograph.
The history of the land can be learned at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, in the St. Michael neighbourhood.
Go on an excursion to the eastern side of the island to visit the Andromeda Botanical Gardens, a short distance from St. Joseph parish. Born sixty years ago as a private garden, they are now open to the public in all of their tropical splendour. Harrison’s Cave, located in the St. Thomas district, is another triumph of nature with its stalactites, stalagmites, streams, lakes and waterfalls. In one of the caverns, the play of light on the rocks is so intense that it has earned the nickname “The Crystal Room”.
An alternative excursion of a historical nature will take you to Holetown: an essential stop for those who want to learn about the islands traditions. It is the first English settlement. This fact has been honoured in the Holetown Monument, erected in commemoration of the island’s first English landing. St. James Church, which dates to the 17th century, can also be found here.
If you prefer to go to a beach, Accra Beach is the most famous and endowed with all of the Caribbean features: transparent waters, white sand and sea life fit for a snorkelling ad.
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Those arriving to Trinidad with an MSC Caribbean cruise, immediately notice the Northern Range, Trinidad’s mountain chain, a triumph of wild nature. and stalagmites.
During your holiday in the Caribbean, you will be able to go on an excursion to some of the biggest accessible caves of the island, the Aripo Caves, which penetrate 90 metres into the ground and are full of stalactites On the slopes of the Northern Range covered by a flourishing rain forest, hides a former cocoa and coffee plantation that has been transformed into the Asa Wright Nature Center. This 80-hectare nature reserve is a spectacle of colourful wildlife with many hiking trails.
Here, bird watching is almost a requirement: you can see rare birds such as the blue-crowned motmot or the palm tanager. To admire the scarlet ibis, which fill the mangroves with thousands of red dots at sunset, head for the island’s other bird temple: the Caroni Bird Sanctuary. Between these hills, opens the Santa Cruz Valley, once full of plantations and cocoa-processing plants, it is now a beautiful residential area.
Just 40 minutes from the capital, you will find Maracas Bay, the deepest bay on the northern coast of the island. Its U shape makes it perfect for any recreational sea activity, from sunbathing to windsurfing and bodysurfing. Another way to admire the island is to securely fasten yourself to a pulley and take a ride on a zip-line at locations such as the Macqueripe Bay Zip-Line in Chaguaramas, located five km west of Port of Spain. This sip-line has seven descent routes, the highest starting at an elevation of 30 minutes and lasting 45 minutes: an experience that has no equal anywhere in the world. Book an excursion to the Pitch Lake in La Brea, the biggest natural tar lake in the world.
Saint George, Grenada
To those arriving with a Caribbean Sea cruise to St. George’s, the capital of Grenada appears to enclose its port, Carenage, like a horseshoe.
Here your cruise ship will await you. Walking up the streets that climb the surrounding hills, one can admire some 19th century Creole houses, which still have roofs of red tiles used as ballast by Old World ships.
Once disembarked from your MSC ship, you can visit the Grenada National Museum, housed in French barracks dating to 1704, where Amerindian pottery, a still for distilling rum and a marble tub belonging to Joséphine de Beauharnais are on display.
Another interesting excursion to go on during your holiday in Grenada will take you on a tour of French forts: Fort George (1705); Fort Frederick, the best preserved; and Fort Matthew, which was bombarded by the Americans in 1983. At Fort George, graffiti reads, “No pain no gain, brother” and a pole bears bullet holes from the shooting of Maurice Bishop, leader of the Grenadian revolution of 1979, who is much loved to this day.
If an excursion takes you to higher elevations, you will discover an infinity of waterfalls. They are not enormous, but they have an undeniable charm: they appear suddenly in the middle of the wood, each with its own small lake in which to cool down after a long walk. Choosing among these waterfalls is truly difficult. Annandale, Concordes, Seven Sisters, Mt. Carmel, Honeymoon or Paraclete; they are all worth a visit.
Following the Mt. Qua Qua Trail, will take you into the Grand Etang Rain Forest and to the peak of the mountain, from where you will be able to see all of the southeastern Caribbean islands. Grenada, like any tropical island, has splendid beaches where to go swimming, snorkelling and diving.
Kingstown, St Vincent & The Grenadines
Saint Vincent & The Grenadines is an elegant succession of tropical colours: from turquoise waters to green shores adorned with palm trees; from white beaches to rainbow-coloured coral reefs.
A hidden gem of the Caribbean, your MSC Caribbean, Cuba & Antilles cruise will help you discover it. It starts in Kingstown, capital of the archipelago, where in the fish market, rum shops and colonial stone buildings, you will find an atmosphere typical of the West Indies.
The city boasts some beautiful churches, such as Saint Mary's Cathedral, dating back to the 1820s and famous for its Romantic-style arches, Gothic spires and Moorish decorations. Continuing your MSC Cruises tour of the Caribbean town, you can visit historic attractions such as the Law Courts, the houses of Parliament and the Carnegie Building, the old library, now a national heritage. Kingstown is dominated by Fort Charlotte, built in the 19th century to defend the city and from where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the surrounding islands.
The Botanical Gardens on the hills just outside the capital are just as impressive. These beautiful gardens are home to a wide variety of tropical and medicinal plants, as well as numerous bird species, such as the rare St Vincent Parrot, symbol of this tiny nation. Your holiday with MSC Cruises will take you to a lush habitat with luxuriant landscapes and a relaxing way of life that can only be found in the Caribbean.
You can go trekking on the La Soufrière volcano, kayaking, diving in an underwater world full of wonderful creatures, explore the bays and amazing caves, or take romantic nature walks amidst forests and waterfalls.
Road Town, British Virgin Islands
A holiday in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea is perfect for lovers of pirate movies. A visit to the island of Jost Van Dyke will give homage to this Dutch settler and pirate, who lived on the island in the 17th century.
As soon as you disembark from your MSC cruise ship in the port of Road Town, you will feel as if you are part of an adventure film. The capital of the British Virgin Islands, Road Town is situated in the largest bay of Tortola, the largest of the islands. To get a good look at all of the British Virgin Islands, you should have lunch at Skyworld, a panoramic restaurant on the highest point of the island, about 400 metres above sea level.
One of Tortola’s most charming beaches, Sugar Cane Bay is so called for the large sugar cane plantation located behind it. Bathing in these waters and laying on the crystalline sand while sea birds dive into the sea from great heights in search of sustenance is an incredible experience in itself. It can, however, be made even more interesting by a visit to the Callwood Rum Distillery, which houses the original structure of a sugar cane distillery, and a rum tasting.
The original heater at the distillery is still functional and the rum being produced is stored in old barrels. The Old Guard House, which is still intact, has been transformed into an art gallery and a souvenir shop. Every bay of these islands has something special: every year, the largest luxury yachts can be seen navigating the waters and docked in the bays of these islands, especially the charming Virgin Gorda Island, which is worth a visit. Here, the mangroves reach the sea and the shrewdest visitors bathe in The Bath, a bay where enormous volcanic masses stud the beach forming sinuous tunnels that must be followed in order to reach the sea.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
During your cruise in the Caribbean Sea, after disembarking from your cruise ship in the Dutch port of Philipsburg and visiting the Court House, the heart of the city (a white and blue building dating to 1793 that now serves as the Post Office), don’t miss out on an excursion to the French side of the island.
Marigot, the capital of Saint Martin located on the island’s western coast, is protected by the great lagoon of Simpson Bay. It has retained the atmosphere of late 17th century, when it was founded. It is worth your while to visit its historical centre, which is crowded with wooden houses dotted with delightful shops.
Next, treat yourself to an excursion to Fort St. Louis, built on a hill on the orders of Louis XVI. From here, you can enjoy a stupendous view of Marigot Bay and its beautiful yacht club with the majestic docked luxury yachts.
However, a better view can be enjoyed with a trip to Pic du Paradis, where you will be able to see as far as Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Barth. Since here the sea is the sovereign, don’t miss out on St. Maarten’s beaches, starting with Great Bay Beach, a crescent of sand one kilometre and a half long located in front of Philipsburg. Going beyond the heritage that is Fort Amsterdam (a Dutch fortress constructed in 1620 housing a beautiful exhibit of historical finds) will take you to the intimate Little Bay Beach. From here, you can reach the base of Cay Bay, flanked by a beautiful sea bottom that’s great for snorkelling.
From the capital, surfers and golfers head west. The latter, into the waters of Mullet Bay; and the former onto the golf course behind it. A short distance further, you will find Cupecoy, excavated from the base of a cliff to form small beaches. Even further, on the western tip of the island, you will enter Terre Basse, the French territory. St. Marteen’s largest beach, Baie Longue, is located just a short distance away.
St John's, Antigua and Barbuda
The island of Antigua, a colony of the British crown for over 300 years, has retained the taste for tropical life introduced by her majesty’s subjects.
Arriving to Antigua on an MSC cruise ship and disembarking in the English harbour, along the southern coast of the island, instead of the capital of Saint John, means gaining access to the historical centre of the island.
Here, you will find Nelson’s Dockyard, an old restored dockyard and Royal Navy district. Between April and the beginning of May, it is the site of some of the most important sailing regattas in the world, such as the Antigua Sailing Week. Regular patrons of the Terrace, a refined restaurant in the Inn at English Harbour, prefer the excellent lobster and red snapper. The entire island serves as an example of what it means to spend your holiday in the Antilles.
Its coast is a parade of beaches: 365, like the days in a year (as the island’s inhabitants say); beaches that are famous, secret, or even set in volcanic craters. Some are more appealing to those who love being around people, such as Dickenson Bay and Runaway Beach. Those who love more isolated destinations, on the other hand, should head for the Five Island peninsula, where they will be able to enjoy the beaches of Deep Bay and the long and immaculate Lignumvitae Bay.
Scuba divers prefer Cades Bay, on the southwestern coast, but go as far as the Cades Reef, a 4 kilometre-long barrier reef. Enormous starfish appear just beyond the foreshore, on the private island of Long Island situated in front of the western coast of the island and hosting the luxurious Jumby Bay Hotel. On the same island, in Pasture Bay, sea turtles come every year to lay eggs in the months of April and May. To enjoy the sunset (or the island’s most famous parties), the destination of choice is Shirley Heights, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the English Harbour. It has been a party spot where Caribbean cruise goers and locals cheerfully mix for over 30 years.
Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis
In spite of its small size, holiday goers disembarking from an MSC cruise ship will not find Basseterre short of things to see.
The city’s two cathedrals, St. George’s Anglican Church and the Catholic Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in East Square Street, are at the top of the list.
On South Square Street, one can visit the Georgian House, one of the better-preserved examples of local 18th century architecture.
Other intriguing destinations to visit during your holiday in St. Kitts are all outside the city. On the way to Old Road, you will come across Romney Manor, the home of the Caribbean Batik, where you can witness the birth of these hand-painted fabrics.
No cruise to the Caribbean with MSC could be complete without a visit to the old sugar plantation of Wingfield Estate, where you will be able to admire ruins and study the complex aqueduct constructed to bring water from the Wingfield River to the plantation, a one of a kind construction on St. Kitts. The 18th century Great House and its Botanical Garden are soothing to all of the senses. Admire the perfectly restored structures, the separate kitchen building made with lava rocks, the dining room that seats 16 and overlooks the ocean, and the bathing room with volcanic rocks for heating.
The even smaller Charlestown, is the capital of Basseterre’s sister island Nevis. Here, the churches of St. Paul and St. Thomas are a must-see. Both date back to the 17th century, as does the old Jewish cemetery in the city centre. Once here, don’t miss out on a visit to the Nelson Museum, from which you can continue to Saint John’s Fig Tree Church. Surrounded by gravestones, it holds the certificate of the marriage of Admiral Horacio Nelson to the Navisian Fanny Nisbet. The excursion concludes at the Great House of the Montpellier Plantation, where the two fell in love.
On Morne Bruce, a one-of-a-kind cannon continues to symbolically protect the people of Roseau, the capital of the Dominica located on the Caribbean Sea shore.
From this privileged observation point, the gaze travels from Woodbridge Bay, the port in which MSC cruise ships contribute to creating a pleasant holiday panorama, to the botanical gardens unfolding at the foot of the mountain itself.
Roseau, the most important and oldest settlement of the island, was a French outpost founded in the 16th century on the banks of the Roseau River. It is rich in atmosphere and French colonial style, and its original urban layout can still be seen in the Old Market area. Possible excursions into the surrounding hills are infinite; just choose the one that intrigues you the most. The greatest of them all is a six-hour or so ascent in hot and humid weather to the boiling lake.
But there are also less demanding hikes, such as an excursion to the crater at the top of Morne aux Diables; as well easy treks, such as a walk to a refuge in Jaco Flats built by runaway slaves followed by a bath in one of the numerous coves near Paradise Bar, where the walk begins and ends. Another spectacle is the twin Trafalgar Falls located just 20 minutes away from Roseau. Here, a brief walk will take you from the visitor centre to an observation platform.
The more intrepid visitor can take a refreshing bath in the lake at the base of the smallest of the waterfalls; the less adventurous can relax in the hot pools just short of reaching the foot of the two falls. Another excursion not to miss out on is the one that will take you to Emerald Pool. A cave in the centre of the island framed by a fairy-tale scene that has been featured in many films and served as the setting for weddings.
*The Onboard Credit promotion is available between 12.01am AEDT on 1 February 2020 and 11.59pm AEDT on 30 April 2020 inclusive (the Promotion Period). To be eligible for the Onboard Credit, you must book an Eligible Cruise in the Promotion Period, pay the relevant deposit, select the Onboard Credit through your preferred travel agent (Promotion Conditions apply). An Eligible Cruise includes sailings and departures, on any cruise vessel, between 1 February 2020 and 30 April 2021, inclusive, selected departures excluded. The Onboard Credit varies based on the duration of the cruise and type of cabin of Eligible Cruise bookings. For bookings of Eligible Cruises between 7 and 13 nights' duration, the Onboard Credit is AU$250 per person up to cabin type MSC FANTASTICA and AU$300 per person up to MSC AUREA and MSC YACHT CLUB, based on twin share cabin arrangements. For bookings of Eligible Cruises greater than 14 days in duration, the Onboard Credit is double the amount based on room type, ($500PP up to FANTASTICA or $600PP up to AUREA and YACHT CLUB) based on twin share cabin arrangements. Any prices quoted on these web pages in relation to an Eligible Cruise are in AU$, per cabin, twin share, and are correct as at 17 January 2020. No further discount for extra persons. All details, itineraries and maps published in relation to an Eligible Cruise are correct as at 17 January 2020 and are subject to change at any time without prior notice. With the exception of the MSC Voyagers Club Loyalty discount (where applicable), this Onboard Credit promotion cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. The Onboard Credit is not redeemable for cash and is not transferrable. Children under 12 cruise free, on selected departures, when sharing with two adults in one cabin, only paying port charges. The promotion is valid for new bookings only.
The Onboard Credit promotion may be withdrawn (or reduced in scope) at any time without prior notice and is subject to cabin control and availability at time of booking.
The promotor of the Onboard Credit promotion is MSC Cruises (Australia) Pty Limited ABN 55 003 526 725 as General Sales Agent only for MSC Cruises S.A | ATAS Accredited No A10954. All carriage is performed pursuant to the Booking Terms and Conditions of MSC Cruises S.A. A copy of those Booking Terms and Conditions is available at www.msccruises.com.au.