FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (JULY 21, 2008) â€“ 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 â€“ even adventurous â€“ 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 Orchestraâ€™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 lineâ€™s private island paradise). Among the many shore excursion options available are:
â€¢ Gliding over the coral reef in a clear kayak
â€¢ Jeep tours â€“ explore the exotic terrain in a Jeep caravan
â€¢ Dune buggy tours â€“ the chance to drive your dune buggy along coastal roads and through tropical jungles
â€¢ Snorkeling â€“ ideal for beginners
â€¢ XCaret Natural Adventure Park â€“ the largest â€œecoâ€ park in Latin America, complete with bird sanctuary, restored Mayan ruins, botanical gardens and an underground river for swimming
â€¢ Swim with the dolphins â€“ swim with bottlenose dolphins in natural ocean coves
â€¢ Stingray City â€“ feed, interact and play with Southern Stingrays
â€¢ Certified 2-tank Boat Dive â€“ certified divers can explore reefs and wrecks
â€¢ Introductory SCUBA lesson â€“ 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 Orchestraâ€™s April 18 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing (calling at Cayo Levantado; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Johnâ€™s, Antigua; and Nassau, Bahamas), shore excursions include the following:
â€¢ Horseback riding on the beach
â€¢ ATV experience â€“ explore the island on the way to a beautiful beach
â€¢ Land & Sea â€“ travel by both catamaran and Swiss Army Jeep
â€¢ Harley Davidson experience â€“ guests with motorcycle licenses can select from legendary â€œFat Boyâ€ and classic â€œHeritageâ€ motorcycles and embark on a tour of the island
â€¢ Americaâ€™s Cup 12 Meter Regatta â€“ guests compete in a thrilling race around an Americaâ€™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 Liricaâ€™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. Johnâ€™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 shipâ€™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 â€“ or even by â€œflyingâ€ 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 Cruisesâ€™ Caribbean itineraries offer something for everyone.
With the lineâ€™s â€œKids Sail Freeâ€ 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.