28 October 2016
Elegantly charming . . . that's the best way to describe Oceania Cruises liner Nautica and you will discover why on this magnificent 16 day voyage around South Africa. The ship has undergone a multi-million pound transformation to create a virtually new sleek vessel. Her decks are resplendent in the finest teak, custom stone and tile work and her lounges, suites and staterooms boast luxurious, neo-classical furnishings. Relax and enjoy all that this super vessel has to offer as you cruise from Cape Town and back stopping at Mossel Bay, Richards Bay, East London, Port Elizabeth and Durban as well as visiting Mozambique and Namibia.
You board the Nautica in Cape Town with plenty of time for sightseeing before setting sail. It’s difficult to get lost in Cape Town because gorgeous Table Mountain looms above the city as a reference. For breathtaking views, ride the cable car to the top, or if you are feeling energetic walk to the summit. You can also explore this urbane city on foot. Visit the fascinating South African Museum and Planetarium and the culturally significant St. George’s Cathedral.
Your first port of call on the cruise is Mossel Bay. With an average of 320 sunny days a year, Mossel Bay has the second mildest climate in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Enjoy walks along the beautiful beaches, horseback riding and whale and dolphin watching. Track big game on a thrilling safari or take a cruise to Seal Island, populated by more than 2,500 Cape fur seals.
The first full day at sea on the cruise and a good time to get to know the Nautica and all that she has to offer as you sail along the Indian Ocean. Features include open-seating restaurants, a world-class fitness centre and spa, eight lounges and bars, a casino and 342 lavish suites and luxurious staterooms, most with private verandas. With just 684 guests to pamper, the 400 professionally trained European staff ensure you will want for nothing.
Today the Nautica arrives at the South African port of Richards Bay. Take an excursion to one of the nearby game reserves or simply gaze over the surrounding waters, where you might get a glimpse of dolphins, whales and see kite-surfers performing their tricks. The best view on land is from the lookout point at Alkantstrand Beach. Richards Bay is a busy port and the myriad of specialised ships will intrigue marine buffs.
Another day, another country, as the Nautica docks at Maputo in Mozambique. Intent on recapturing its former glamour, Maputo is once again attracting the rich and famous, who you are bound to see while sipping a cocktail at the extravagant Hotel Polana. Maputo's struggle for freedom from Portuguese colonialism is recounted in local museums and there is lots to see here on a variety of tours that can be booked on board.
Back to South Africa today when you sail into Durban. British colonial architecture prevails in Durban, yet natural beauty is what characterises this charming city on the Indian Ocean. Its Golden Mile beach area attracts sunbathers, of course, but also shoppers and those who enjoy walking the promenade. The Juma Masjid deserves a visit, as it's the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere.
Another day to enjoy this fascinating cosmopolitan city and see more of the sights. The beaches here are a great temptation, as are the shops, or you can venture out into the surrounding countryside or along the coast on a tour. If you would prefer to relax and stay on board you will find lots or organised entertainment as there is never a dull moment on this voyage.
After sailing away from Durban your next port of call is East London. The nation's only port on a river, East London stretches along the banks of the Buffalo and is revered for its unspoiled beaches. Although links to England are apparent, East London still bears a refreshing South African ambiance. The aquarium is phenomenal, as is the East London Museum, which displays the world's only dodo egg.
South Africa's third largest port, Port Elizabeth is known as “The Friendly City.” A popular destination for water sports, the city offers spectacular beaches, historical attractions, the oldest bowling green in South Africa and beautiful wildlife sanctuaries. Bayworld features a fascinating cultural history museum, an oceanarium and a snake and dinosaur park. So much to see and do here that you are spoilt for choice.
A memorable day at sea today when you cruise around the spectacular Cape of Good Hope. The views are incredible and you will have a commentary on deck telling you all the fascinating places that you are passing. Again there are lots of organised activities in the unlikely event that you get tired of the views, and you always have the chance to burn off some of those unwanted calories in the state of the art gym.
Another full day at sea today as the Nautica sails into the Atlantic Ocean. Try one of the relaxing treatments in the spa, sit on one of the sun decks with a good book and a cocktail, cool off in one of the pools, try a new lunch and dining option and after enjoying the top class evening entertainment possibly try to win back some or all of your holiday money in the ship's Monte Carlo style casino.
Today the Nautica arrives at Walvis Bay in Namibia and you have two full days to enjoy here. Although rimmed by the inhospitable Namib Desert, Walvis Bay boasts a huge natural lagoon that attracts hundreds of thousands of birds, including flamingos, pelicans and migratory species. The desert's Dune 7 is the highest sand dune near town and offers a spectacular view. The wooden Rhenish Mission Church is also worth a visit.
Another day in this spectacular bay and a chance to discover some of the Namibia coast on a tour. You can book your excursions on board and there is something to suit all tastes. The Namibian landscape is stunning and you should take at least one tour while docked here. But if you stay on board you will have plenty of fun things to do and try.
Your last full day at sea so make the most of it as you leave Walvis Bay and head back down the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Town. Today may be the time to treat yourself to a pampering in the world class spa. The stimulating variety of entertainment options include guest lectures by a historian, naturalist or former ambassador eager to share insider knowledge. Relax at a musical performance and later, try your luck at the elegant casino or go dancing at Horizons.
Today the Nautica arrives back into Cape Town and you have a day and night to explore this great South African city. Take a boat trip out to Robben Island and visit the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for so many years or take your credit card and visit the designer shops and restaurants along the stylish and colourful Victoria and Alfred waterfront.
Time to say farewell to new found friends today when you leave the Nautica after your wonderful 16 day cruise around South Africa. Possibly stay on for a few more days in Cape Town and see more of the sights or take a flight to another part of Africa and continue your adventures. If it's time to go home, you will be taken to the airport to catch your international flight.
Deluxe Outside C2 Grade fr £3950pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated