Experience The Adventurous Side Of The Caribbean With MSC Cruises

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (JULY 21, 2008) – For many, the Caribbean evokes visions of sunbathing, shopping and sightseeing. Those looking for a more experiential Caribbean vacation, however, need look no further than an MSC Cruises sailing.

MSC Cruises offers guests the opportunity for some exciting – even adventurous – experiences on its 2008-09 Caribbean itineraries. Several shore excursion options enable guests to explore the Caribbean over land (by motorcycle, bicycle, ATV or horseback), under the sea (snorkeling, SCUBA diving and glass-bottomed kayak) and through the air (attached to a cable between 100-foot-high trees). There is also the chance for unique ecological experiences and, of course, plenty of fun and sun.

MSC Orchestra’s 7-night Western Caribbean roundtrip sailings from Fort Lauderdale (Jan. 24, Feb. 21, March 7 and March 21) call at Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic (the line’s private island paradise). Among the many shore excursion options available are:

• Gliding over the coral reef in a clear kayak
• Jeep tours – explore the exotic terrain in a Jeep caravan
• Dune buggy tours – the chance to drive your dune buggy along coastal roads and through tropical jungles
• Snorkeling – ideal for beginners
• XCaret Natural Adventure Park – the largest “eco” park in Latin America, complete with bird sanctuary, restored Mayan ruins, botanical gardens and an underground river for swimming
• Swim with the dolphins – swim with bottlenose dolphins in natural ocean coves
Grand Cayman
• Stingray City – feed, interact and play with Southern Stingrays
• Certified 2-tank Boat Dive – certified divers can explore reefs and wrecks
• Introductory SCUBA lesson – after training in a swimming pool, participants go on a shallow reef dive
Cruise-only rates begin at $539 per person, double occupancy.

On MSC Orchestra’s April 18 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing (calling at Cayo Levantado; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John’s, Antigua; and Nassau, Bahamas), shore excursions include the following:
St. Maarten
• Horseback riding on the beach
• ATV experience – explore the island on the way to a beautiful beach
• Land & Sea – travel by both catamaran and Swiss Army Jeep
• Harley Davidson experience – guests with motorcycle licenses can select from legendary “Fat Boy” and classic “Heritage” motorcycles and embark on a tour of the island
• America’s Cup 12 Meter Regatta – guests compete in a thrilling race around an America’s Cup-like course, with each guest having a role in helping to sail the yacht.
Cruise-only rates begin at $519 per person, double occupancy.

10-Night Caribbean Experiences
MSC Lirica’s 10-night Deep Caribbean cruises (departing Fort Lauderdale Jan. 23, Feb. 12, March 4 and 24, April 13 and calling at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Port Castries, St. Lucia; St. John’s, Antigua; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Cayo Levantado) offer a variety of shore excursion experiences as well. While in Antigua, for example, guests can go horseback riding on the beach or take a catamaran to Paradise Reef for some snorkeling or bottom fishing.

Cruise-only rates begin at $799 per person, double occupancy.

The ship’s Caribbean Featuring Panama 10-night sailings (departing Fort Lauderdale Feb. 2 and 22, March 14 and April 3) call at Costa Maya, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cristobal, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; and Cayo Levantado.

Among the many shore excursions available on this itinerary are a dolphin swim program in Costa Maya and a Mangroves Ecological Tour via canoe in Cartagena. In Puerto Limon, guests can opt to explore the rainforest by bicycle or wagon – or even by “flying” through the forest canopy (safely secured by cables).

Cruise-only rates begin at $849 per person, double occupancy.

Whether you are interested in adventure, exploration, history, shopping, architecture, relaxation or just some plain old fun in the sun, MSC Cruises’ Caribbean itineraries offer something for everyone.

With the line’s “Kids Sail Free” offer (ages 17 and under sail free when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults), the entire family can enjoy a Caribbean getaway.

All prices quoted are cruise-only; government fees and taxes are additional, as is a fuel surcharge for the first two people occupying a stateroom. Some restrictions may apply on shore excursions. For more information, contact a local travel professional.