Day 1: Australia – – Dubai
You make your own way to the airport at the appropriate time to catch a flight to Dubai.
Day 2: Dubai (D)
Your flight lands in Dubai, the glittering desert city of the United Arab Emirates. You make your way to the port to settle into your cabin aboard the MSC Seaview and complete the embarkation process. The cruise doesn’t depart until tomorrow evening however, so you have the rest of today and the following day as free time to explore Dubai however you like. This is a truly remarkable city that sees modern technologies and innovations sit alongside old world traditions and cultures. There is an abundance of things to do, see and experience.
Take in some of the city’s most striking builds, such as the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. You can even head up to the observation deck at the former for incredible views across the surrounding skyline. Learn more about Dubai’s history at the Dubai Museum, which charts the city’s path from fishing village to uber-contemporary world hub. Wander through the Al Fahidi Historic District, The Gold Souk or the Spice Souk, or make for Dubai Mall – the largest in the world – to visit The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo or the Dubai Ice Rink.
Day 3: Dubai (B, L, D)
You again have today as free time to explore Dubai until the cruise departs at about 10pm this evening. Stop at Jumeirah Mosque – the only one of its kind in the city that is open to non-Muslim visitors – and catch the choreographed water show at the Dubai Fountain. Or head away from the city limits on a desert safari (this needs to be booked through operators in the city) that might see you traverse dunes in a 4WD or from the back of a camel. Some excursions also include meals or tea taken in a traditional Bedouin-style tent. No matter how you choose to spend your time around Dubai, be sure to return to the MSC Seaview with plenty of time ahead of tonight’s departure.
Day 4: Abu Dhabi (B, L, D)
The cruise makes its first port in Abu Dhabi. The capital of the United Arab Emirates is not unlike Dubai in that it promises extravagant landmarks and hotels, and a wealth of modern architecture. Devotees of retail therapy will love the over-the-top shopping malls teeming with high-end boutiques and designer brands, and culture-vultures can admire historic mosques. Amble along the waterfront Corniche to get your bearings and walk past the string of playgrounds, beaches, art installations and gardens that line this sun-kissed promenade. Be in awe of the grand size of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and its collision of architectural influences – like nuances from Europe, Middle East and more. Make for Mangrove National Park to uncover the bounty of this ecosystem, or motor into Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the mammoth amusement park devoted to the world-famous car manufacturer.
Day 5: At Sea (B, L, D)
Today marks the first full day you’ll spend at sea, and it is a prime opportunity to delve deeper into everything offered aboard the MSC Seaview. Dining, entertainment and leisure facilities abound on-board, from 10 incredible restaurants and eateries, to the swimming pools, multi-storey aquapark, theatre, bowling alleys and more. Perhaps use today to familiarise yourself with the ship’s deck plans and layout, mentally making note where the activities, restaurants and lounges you want to experience first are located – so you waste no time finding it in the days to come.
Day 6: At Sea (B, L, D)
All of your meals are included while cruising aboard the MSC Seaview, and the ship boasts an incredible 10 restaurants to make sure you never go hungry. Plus there are 19 bars and lounges for when you feel like relaxing with your favourite sundowner or tipple. There is a mix of main and specialty diners aboard. The main restaurants dish up Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, while each of the specialty eateries excels within its own remit. Savour flavours from Japan and Hawaii at Pan Asian Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi, or dine on divine seafood dishes at Ocean Cay Restaurant. (The latter also boasts a chef’s table for those seeking an even more remarkable dining experience). Feast on prime cuts of the world’s best steaks at Butcher’s Cut, or say bonjour to the French cuisine of Atelier Bistrot – even offering the likes of escargot and foie gras. Travelling with kids? Make a beeline for the dedicated family-friendly fare at Biscayne Bay Restaurant & Buffet on deck 16.
The restaurants aren’t the only place to sate your appetite or thirst, however. Sweet tooths will be drawn to the Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar and Venchi 1878 Gelato & Creperie. Sip on the expertly-mixed cocktails at Haven Lounge, cheers to your cruise with a flute of sparkling at Champagne Bar, or kickback with a drink at the poolside Aurea Bar. There is even a dedicated space for teenagers, the Garage Club.
Day 7: Salalah (B, L, D)
Sail into Salalah this morning. This is the capital city of the Dhofar province in the south of Oman. Salalah thrives in the wet/monsoon season and becomes blanketed with greenery, water springs and waterfalls during this period known as Khareef. Head to Salalah’s most popular stretch of sand at Al Mughsail Beach, or admire the Sultan Qaboos Mosque or Taqah Castle. Make the trip out to the ruins of the old city of Sumhuram where you can see the summer palace of the Queen of Sheba.
Day 8: At Sea (B, L, D)
Return to the high seas to spend the next four days sailing towards Jordan. With so much uninterrupted time spent cruising, there is nothing to get in between you and taking advantage of the entertainment and leisure facilities flaunted by the MSC Seaview. Put on your bathers to visit the Forest Aquaventure Park to whizz down one of the five waterslides, or check out the performance schedule for the Odeon Theatre and plan to attend one of the Broadway-style spectacles. Lace up shoes to hit the lanes of one of the two full-size bowling alleys.
Day 9: At Sea (B, L, D)
Consult today’s activity schedule to find out about any dance classes, bingo, trivia, tournaments and more that are on the agenda. Seek out the tables at the Platinum Casino, or work up a sweat by taking to the basketball court or soccer pitch at the Sports Arena. There is also a fully-equipped gym, and even a zipline that takes you across the sports courts and Panorama Beach Pool (please note a ride on the zipline comes at additional cost).
Day 10: At Sea (B, L, D)
Look to have today at a more leisurely pace. Nab a sunlounger by one of the pools. Choose from the main Panorama Pool, the adults-only Sunset Beach Pool, or the Jungle Pool that doubles as the ship’s solarium. Soak for a while in the hot tubs on any of the pool decks, or make pampering your main focus of the day with trips to the Beauty Arcade or treatments from the MSC Aurea Spa. Bunker down with a read from the Library or rack up a game in the Billiard Room.
Day 11: At Sea (B, L, D)
Continue enjoying the wealth of activities, bars and restaurants, and entertainment facilities aboard the ship today.
Day 12: Aqaba (B, L, D)
Cruise into Aqaba, a resort city on the shores of the Red Sea in Jordan, this morning. The scheduled time of arrival is about 7am and the MSC Seaview departs at 7pm, so you have the entire day to explore the city however you like. Aqaba is a popular destination for divers with world-class sites – including coral reefs and a sunken plane – to explore. You don’t need to don a full wetsuit or oxygen tank to uncover the wealth of watery wonders however, and snorkellers can paddle over the top of coral and brightly-coloured fish just a few metres out from the pebbly beaches. To see the more cultural and historical side of Aqaba, seek out the Aqaba Fortress or Sharif Hussein bin Ali Mosque.
Day 13: Suez Canal (B, L, D)
The MSC Seaview begins its voyage through the Suez Canal today. This manmade waterway is the major route that connects Europe with Asia, providing a link between the Mediterranean and Red Seas. The transit through the Canal takes about two days and sees you cruise past the Egyptian coastline as you go. Admire the passing-by landscape from a lounge up on one of the decks, or from a windowfront perch at one of the bars or lounges.
Day 14: Suez Canal (B, L, D)
The cruise continues through the Suez Canal.
Day 15: At Sea (B, L, D)
You have officially crossed into the waters of the Mediterranean and to prepare for your first port in Europe you might be tempted to pick up some new purchases from any of the ship’s boutiques and stores. Browse for watches and sunglasses on deck 7, or peruse for clothing and jewels at the shop on deck 8. There are also boutiques for fine jewellery, perfumes, make up and accessories.
Day 16: Heraklion (B, L, D)
Heraklion is a port city on the island of Crete. Also known as Iraklio, the city is home to the striking Palace of Knossos. This vast archaeological site is located just outside the city and holds remains of the Minoan civilisation. You can learn more about this ancient society at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Other things to do in Heraklion include seeing the Koules Fortress, wander the Old Town precinct, or stroll barefoot along the beautiful Ammoudara Beach.
Day 17: At Sea (B, L, D)
This is your final day at sea and the last day of the cruise. Now is the time to dine at favourite restaurants, sip favourite cocktails, schedule in last-minute spa appointments, or see another theatre performance.
Day 18: Civitavecchia – – Australia (B)
Sail into Civitavecchia in Italy. This is your port city for venturing into Rome, the iconic Italian capital city. Those staying on in Italy thanks to Flexi Flights can make their way into the Eternal City and enjoy their time in this magnificent destination. Otherwise, head to the airport after disembarking the MSC Seaview and begin your return journey to Australia.
Day 19: Australia
Arrive back in Australia today.