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Setting sail from Fremantle (Perth)
The capital of Western Australia, Perth sits in glorious isolation on the shores of the Indian Ocean, where the Swan River meets the sea. Laid back and relaxed, this must be one of the most easy-going capital cities in the world, with everything within easy reach. It's great for a short visit, or you can use it as gateway to Margaret River's glorious vineyards to the south, and to the great wilderness of the Kimberley to the north. Swim and surf from its extraordinary clean and uncrowded beaches - or just sit and watch the sunset.
Use Perth as the gateway to explore Western Australia – drive out to Wave Rock, three to four hours’ drive. This is a multi-coloured granite cliff, some 110 metres long and towering fifteen metres above the plain.
Mauritius: Port Louis
The lovely island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is striking in the contrasts between its mountainous backdrop and beautiful white sand beaches. The capital Port Louis, on the northwest coast, dates back to 1735 and is a busy administrative centre, packed with office workers during the day.
The Indian Ocean island of Réunion is home to an intoxicating cultural mix of French, African and Asian influences. The lush landscape of spectacular lakes and rugged mountains has been shaped by volcanic activity, and the smouldering Piton de la Fournaise is one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Madagascar: Fort Dauphin (Toalagnaro)
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: Richards Bay
Richards Bay itself is an industrial city with little in the way of tourist sights, but the port serves as a gateway for the many attractions of KwaZulu-Natal province. Head inland and you’ll find traditional Zulu villages, undulating hills and wildlife including crocodiles, hippos and the rare black rhino.
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.
Robben Island is a must, possibly the most well known island-prison in the world. Make sure you book ahead - the ferries leave at specific times and numbers are limited.
Your home from home
Crystal have repeatedly been voted the World’s Best and Serenity is arguably one of the finest ships at sea.
What we love
Crystal Serenity is Symphony's big sister and, like her, is not a new ship; but you wouldn't know it since she is subject to an ongoing refurbishment programme, with constant innovations such as the Outdoor Fitness Garden, which ensures that the environment is always perfect and the style contemporary. This is, in short, a ship constantly honed to perfection. But ultimately it's all about the unmatchable food and service.
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Luxury with a difference: the resort style - with excellent entertainment and facilities, wide range of dining and highly developed on board programme - distinguishes glamorous Crystal from its competitors in the sector.
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Perth
We love The Richardson – intimate and contemporary.
Sightseeing in Perth
Historic Fremantle is great to see, and further enhanced if you go with a story telling guide.
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.