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Setting sail from Dubai
For some Dubai, the most famous of the United Arab Emirates, is the ultimate glamorous holiday destination. Amazing high rise buildings, extensive air-conditioned shopping malls, and extraordinary man-made tourist attractions (such as indoor ski-slopes) abound. Some of the most glitzy and expensive hotels in the world can be found here, so for shopping, sunshine and fun for all the family, this is a great choice. For others, this is a cultural desert as barren as the sands which surround it. But if you search hard you will find the old souk-like centre around Dubai Creek - take a traditional dhow and you will begin to understand the magic of Arabia.
The historic Persian trading centre, the Bastakia Quarter, was a marketplace for pearls and textiles. Even then, this was the home of ‘tax-free', and the area is characterised by Arabian architecture, wind towers, and narrow lanes.
United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi
The UAE’s gleaming capital gives Dubai a run for its money in terms of extravagant excess, an ever-multiplying forest of skyscrapers looming over the golden sand and brilliant blue waters of the Gulf. Don’t miss the shining white Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s biggest.
United Arab Emirates: Sir Bani Yas Island
United Arab Emirates: Fujairah
The port of Fujairah is an important transit point for the oil that has made the Emirates so rich, though the skyline is nothing like as impressive as Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Points of interest include an impressive fort and a handful of markets, but this is unlikely to be the most exciting stop on your itinerary.
Oman’s capital is low-rise and laid back, a far cry from the towering bling of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Take a stroll along the waterfront Corniche promenade, soak up the sun on one of the excellent beaches, or explore the mosques and forts of the atmospheric old quarter.
Formerly known as Bombay, this amazing city is larger than life and packed to bursting with things to see and do. Here people of all religions and nationalities live cheek by jowl, thriving communities from all over the world with the foods, smells, languages and rituals maintained at top volume.
The port of Kochi, commonly known as Cochin, occupies a strategic location on India’s Malabar Coast, and its history as a trading hub is reflected in the blend of European, Chinese and Arabian influences. It’s also the gateway to the idyllic Kerala Backwaters, which are best appreciated on a houseboat cruise.
The low lying reef protected atolls of the Maldives, set in the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, are the perfect place to relax and unwind. A great choice for a honeymoon or romantic getaway, the Maldives also appeal to active travellers who love watersports, snorkelling and diving.
Mahé is the largest island in the Seychelles, home to the diminutive capital, Victoria, and 90% of the country’s population. It’s the quintessential tropical paradise, a sun-drenched landscape of granite mountains, lush jungle and heavenly white sand beaches.
Mombasa is a vibrant and colourful city of contrasts, and the gateway to some of the extraordinary national parks of East Africa, as well as being an appealing beach destination with some beautiful hotels.
Mayotte is part of the Comoros archipelago, off the east coast of Africa, governed by France as an overseas territory. It’s something of a post-colonial oddity; the white sand beaches and laid back pace are typical of the Indian Ocean, but the cost of living is more reminiscent of mainland France.
Madagascar: Nosy Be
The island of Nosy Be, just off the northeast coast of Madagascar, remains a laid back locale in spite of its popularity as a tourist destination. The beaches are the main attraction for most visitors, along with the colourful chameleons and tiny frogs hiding in the Lokobe wildlife reserve.
Mozambique’s laid back capital is an eclectic mix of elegant Portuguese colonial architecture and concrete blocks that hark back to the days of Soviet influence. Maputo also has an excellent selection of restaurants and a lively nightlife scene, as well as some interesting museums and markets.
South Africa: Richard's Bay
South Africa: Durban
Durban is a real melting pot; not only does the city feel more authentically African than Cape Town, it’s also home to a large Indian community that lends the city a distinctly Asian flavour. The lovely waterfront promenade was revamped for the 2010 World Cup, and the beach is a popular destination for domestic tourists.
South Africa: Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth is home to some nice beaches and a handful of interesting buildings, but it is perhaps not the most exciting city on the Sunshine Coast. There are plenty of things to see and do in the surrounding area, however, and we highly recommend a day trip to the fantastic Addo Elephant Park.
Arriving in Cape Town
This magical multicultural city is the perfect jumping off point to explore Southern Africa, but do make sure you linger a few days to enjoy the buzz of a city where Africa meets a European-style cosmopolitan atmosphere, creating a vibrant melting pot of cultures and religions. With flat-topped Table Mountain soaring above the city, beautiful natural landscapes, and gardens within the city, you never feel far from nature here. Enjoy the waterfront, museums and elegant architecture, then take the time to venture further afield - there is so much within easy reach.
Combine time in Cape Town with trips outside the city. We will help you plan ahead to make the most of your visit, so our tip is simply to call us to make the most of it.
Your home from home
Silver Spirit, currently the largest of the Silversea fleet of ships, offers a stylish and contemporary environment with lots of dining options, additional space in the suites and extensive resort style facilities.
What we love
Although large by Silversea standards, the 540-guest Silver Spirit maintains the intimacy that is key to Silversea's style, while offering plenty of space on board. Choose this ship if you like more dining choices, more space, and a wider range of facilities.
|Crew||376 International Staff|
|Style||The Italian verve and sparkle of Silversea makes for a social, welcoming ambience and cosmopolitan style. The international passenger mix creates a sophisticated and elegant environment.|
Tailor-make your trip
Our favourite hotel in Dubai
So many to choose from! Our current Mundy preference is Al Qasr at the Madinat Jumeirah.
Private tours from Dubai
Head out into the desert for the lush valley of Wadi Hatta and Hatta Village, then travel by four wheel drive across the dunes.
Where to stay in Cape Town
There are some great hotels to choose from, but at Mundy we especially like the Cape Grace on the waterfront.
Extend your stay in South Africa
Take a wine tour to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek for tastings, beautiful countryside and great food.