|Cabin type||Experience||Price from (pp)|
19 March 2020 - 34 nights^
Day 1: Fly UK » Dubai
Fly from the UK to Dubai, and, on arrival, transfer to your 4* hotel for a 2 night stay.
Day 2: Dubai, UAE
The first Middle Eastern city to make the Unesco list of creative cities of design, Dubai is a bustling microcosm peacefully shared by cultures from all corners of the world. This diversity expresses itself in the culinary landscape, fashion, music and performance. Although rooted in Islamic tradition, this is an open society where it’s easy for newcomers and visitors to connect with myriad experiences, be it eating like a Bedouin, dancing on the beach, shopping for local art or riding a camel in the desert.
Day 3: Embark in Dubai
A transfer will take you from your hotel to the port to embark MSC Bellissima. The world's most beautiful ship.
Day 4: Dubai, UAE
Why not discover Bur Dubai, at the heart of the metropolis of Dubai, on the south side of the breezy Creek. It’s the oldest part of Dubai and it offers a fascinating insight into the city’s traditional roots. This is where you’ll find many of the place’s most interesting Arabian heritage houses, clustered in the beautiful old Iranian quarter of Bastakiya and the waterfront Shindagha district, as well as the excellent Dubai Museum and the atmospheric Textile Souk.
Day 5: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Leading attractions in Abu Dhabi include the extravagant Emirates Palace hotel and the even more spectacular Sheikh Zayed Mosque, while the various attractions of Yas Island, home to the vast Ferrari World theme park, lie just down the road.
Day 6: Day at Sea
Twice every night, six nights a week, guests on MSC Bellissima have the unique opportunity to see two original shows by Cirque du Soleil, the world leader in live artistic entertainment, and savour a superb culinary experience in the same glamorous venue. The Carousel Lounge is a technology-packed, entertainment and dining venue designed especially to meet the needs of Cirque du Soleil. This custom-built lounge covers 1,000 sq.m. and can accommodate up to 450 guests, including 120 enjoying the full show-and-dining experience.
Day 7: Khor Fakkan (Fujairah), UAE
From an MSC ship on the Gulf of Oman, you can see the sizeable town of Khor Fakkan (or Khawr Fakkan) sprawling round a superb bay, one of the loveliest in the United Arab Emirates. The port where your cruise ship lies at anchor is part of the booze-free and ultra-conservative Sharjah emirate, and hasn’t enjoyed the tourist boom its location would otherwise suggest.
It’s a pleasant spot for a brief cruise excursion though, with a fine seafront corniche complete with fish market, a tempting stretch of beach (although, this being Sharjah, modest beachwear is advised) and views of a popular diving spot, Sharq Island, sometimes mistranslated as the rather alarming “Shark Island”, although sharq is in fact simply the Arabic for “east”.
Day 8-10: Days at Sea
Enjoy exclusive world-class shows performed in innovative venues like the Carousel Lounge and the multi-purpose karaoke bar, comedy club, TV studio & Bar. Younger guests can take advantage of the super-amusement park and sports centre to play sports and games during the daytime and party and dance in the evening. And the whole family can enjoy hours of fun in one of the most intricate and exciting water parks at sea.
Day 11: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Beneath the unprepossessing surface of Colombo lies an intriguing and characterful city just waiting to be discovered. After leaving the port where your cruise ship awaits your return, Fort district lies at the heart of old Colombo, occupying (as its name suggests) the site of the now-vanished Portuguese defences. Under the British, Fort developed into the centrepiece of the colonial capital, adorned with handsome Neoclassical buildings and boasting all the necessities of expatriate life in the tropics, right down to the inevitable clock tower and statue of Queen Victoria. East of Fort, the helter-skelter bazaar district of the Pettah is Colombo’s most absorbing area, and feels quite unlike anywhere else in Sri Lanka.
Day 12-13: Days at Sea
The Bar - This high-tech, multi-purpose space houses a radio broadcast suite and a TV studio broadcasting live games, quizzes, talent contests and other fun content across the ship. It also serves as an atmospheric comedy club, karaoke bar and live music venue.
Day 14: Phuket, Thailand
Phuket Town (Muang Phuket) stands distinct from the tailor-made tourist settlements along the beaches as a place of tangible history and culture waiting to be appreciated. Most visitors hang about just long enough to jump on a beach-bound songthaew, but you may find yourself returning for a welcome dose of real life; there’s plenty to engage you in a stroll through the small but atmospherically restored heart of the Old Town, along with many idiosyncratic cafés and art shops, several notable restaurants and some good handicraft shops.
Some of the Old Town’s most elegant buildings line the western arm of Thanon Thalang, where a dozen signboards highlight the special features worth an upward or sideways glance: pastel-coloured doors and shutters, elaborate stucco mouldings, ornate wooden doors, and the distinctively arched “five-foot walkways” that link them.
Day 15: Langkawi, Malaysia
Situated 30km off the coast just south of the Thai border, at 500 square kilometres Pulau Langkawi is the largest of an archipelago of mostly uninhabited islands.
A shore excursion can be the opportunity to discover its white-sand beaches which are easily the best along the entire west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Langkawi’s charms consist largely of lazing around on the sand, perhaps taking time off for a mangrove cruise after sea eagles, to snorkel or scuba dive south at Pulau Payar Marine Park, or to ride the Langkawi Cable Car over the interior forests to the top of Gunung Mat Cincang.
Day 16: Penang, Malaysia
In the far northwest of Peninsular Malaysia, Penang is the most ambiguously named part of the Malaysia: depending on context, the moniker may refer to the island (Pulau Pinang in Malay, pinang being what Malays call the betel-nut palm), or the state (the island plus a blob of mainland opposite, around the town of Butterworth), or even just the state capital – properly Georgetown, waiting to be appreciated. This was where the British established their first Malay port in the late eighteenth century, laying the foundations for the Georgetown of today, a fascinating blend of colonial, Indian, Malay and – especially – Chinese and Peranakan heritage.
Day 17: Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia
A cruise of one day is enough to appreciate the best of Kuala Lumpur’s main attractions, including the colonial core around Merdeka Square and the adjacent enclaves of Chinatown and Little India, plus, to the east, the restaurants, shops and nightlife of the so-called Golden Triangle, the modern heart of downtown Kuala Lumpur, your MSC Cruises port of call in Malaysia.
Day 18-19: Singapore
Each of the original ethnic enclaves of Singapore boasts a fair amount of period architecture in the form of neatly restored shophouses, and retains its own distinct flavour: Little India has its garland-sellers and curry houses, Chinatown its calligraphers and fortune-tellers, while Arab Street is home to cluttered stores selling fine cloths and curios. Right at the core of downtown Singapore are historic public buildings and the lofty cathedral of the Colonial District.
Old Singapore is looking better than ever thanks to belated conservation work, and that historical emphasis carries over into a clutch of fine museums – including the National Museum, recounting Singapore’s story from the fourteenth century onwards; the Chinatown Heritage Centre, evoking the harsh conditions endured by Chinatown’s earlier inhabitants; and the Peranakan Museum and Baba House, which celebrate Singapore’s Baba-Nonya heritage, just as important as that of Melaka and Penang.
Day 20-22: Days at Sea
With around 10 square metres of public space per guest, poolside space on MSC Bellissima is some of the most plentiful to be found at sea. Beautiful lighting, a giant screen and atmospheric design make the main pool area even more alluring after dark.
Day 23: Nansha/Guangzhou, China
It was once part of the legendary Han Dynasty. Southern China's largest city, often anglicised as Canton, is one of the nation’s key transportation hubs and trading ports. It is situated on the Pearl River, which is navigable to the South China Sea. Sitting in the middle of one of China’s wealthiest provinces, greater Guangzhou’s population is nearly 12 million. Departing at 16:00 you'll arrive in Hong Kong for an overnight stay.
Day 24: Hong Kong
As you will discover during your MSC cruise, Hong Kong Island is the heart of the whole territory, its administrative and business centre and site of some of the most expensive real estate in the world. Development is concentrated along the island’s north shore, a 6km-long strip of financial, commercial and entertainment districts overlooking Victoria Harbour. At its core, Central sprouts an astounding array of high-tech towers, edged to the west by Sheung Wan’s smaller-scale and traditional Chinese businesses. Behind this the land climbs steeply to The Peak, wherever you get them from, vistas are stupendous, down over the island’s intensely crowded north shore, across the busy harbour to a lower-rise, unspectacular Kowloon and the green peaks of the New Territories.
Day 25: Day at Sea
The MSC Aurea Spa on MSC Bellissima is a luxurious Balinese spa offering signature relaxation treatments to revitalise body and soul. Complete with a thermal area, beauty salon and nail boutique, the MSC Aurea Spa will leave you feeling pampered from head to toe.
Day 26: Keelung, Taiwan
With over 2,600,000 inhabitants, Taipei is the largest city on the island of Taiwan and its capital. It represents the fulcrum of the country: the headquarters of the government is located here and it is the cultural and commercial centre of Taiwan. An MSC Cruise will take you inside this crossroads of Japanese and Chinese cultures, where the ancient and modern coexist with no distinction. One of the symbols of the city is the Taipei 101 Tower, named for the fact that there are 101 floors. First known as the Taipei World Financial Center, it is located in the Xinyi district. Reachable on an MSC excursion, this singular construction, built in 2004, is bamboo-shaped and its 509 meters in height made it the the tallest building in the world in 2004: today, it is in fifth place; first place is held by Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Day 27-28: Days at Sea
With MSC Yacht Club discover a ship within a ship. A place where you can savour exclusivity and privacy in a world of choice. Where you can indulge in the luxury of a private club, while enjoying access to the myriad recreation and entertainment possibilities that the rest of the ship affords.
Day 29: Kobe, Japan
One of Japan’s first ports to open up to international trade, trendy, cultured Kobe has made a practice of being on the cutting edge of Japan’s food, fashion and culture ever since. Wedged between the sea and the Rokko mountain range, there has been a port settlement of some kind at Kobe since ancient times, but this bright and breezy seafront city really came into its own after becoming one of the first Japanese ports to accept foreign trade after the end of Japan’s period of seclusion in the 1860s.
Day 30: Day at Sea
MSC Bellissima offers endless fun for the whole family, from exclusive Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows and live comedy to full-sized bowling alleys and Formula 1 simulators. Then there’s the interactive Grand Canyon-themed Aqua Park, sports centre and various innovative areas for kids and teenagers.
Day 31: Yokohama, Japan
On its southern borders Tokyo merges with Yokohama, Japan’s second most populous city and a major international port. When you step aground from your MSC cruise you will find that Yokohama feels far more spacious and airy than the capital, thanks to its open harbour frontage and generally low-rise skyline.
When Commodore Perry sailed his “Black Ships” into Tokyo Bay in 1853, Yokohama was a mere fishing village of some eighty houses on the distant shore. But it was this harbour, well out of harm’s way as far as the Japanese were concerned, that the shogun designated one of the five treaty ports open to foreign trade in 1858. From the early 1860s until the first decades of the twentieth century, Yokohama flourished on the back of raw silk exports, a trade dominated by British merchants.
Day 32: Disembark in Yokohama, Japan
Disembark the ship and transfer to Tokyo for your 3 night stay in a 4* hotel.
Day 33: Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, symbol of Japanese modernity and traditions. Located on the island of Honshū, this metropolis has almost 14 million inhabitants and is the capital of Japan. It is a multifaceted city, with futuristic buildings and skyscrapers, historical and religious monuments, ancient districts and lush parks. Not to mention art, music, design, shopping and theatre. This city has everything, so much so, that it is impossible to see it all. MSC offers a few excursions to give you the possibility to focus your visit on the places that you should really see. Like the historic district of Asakusa, named after a guard of the city of Tokyo, famous for the Sensō-ji Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon.
Day 34: Fly Tokyo » UK
Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK.
Day 35: Arrive in the UK
Terms & Conditions: ^ Indicates overnight travel. Fares based on departure from London - other airports may carry a supplement. Promotional details, fares and itineraries were correct at time of publish (8 March 2020) but can be changed/withdrawn at any time without notice. All offers are applicable to new bookings only. E&OE