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All Things KEY WEST – 16th June



This weeks cruise deal takes us from the Italian Riviera to Miami Beach in one amazing Transatlantic Voyage.  When you arrive in Miami, you are just a few hours drive along the Overseas Highway to the Florida Keys and on to Key West.  Historic buildings, national landmarks, stunning coral reefs, amazing dining and a spectacular coral reef all awaits you in the ‘Conch Republic”.

There are many cruises that visit Key West, but to really enjoy Key West, you need longer than just the one day.  So lets look at a cruise that gets you close enough to Key West that you can stay for a few days and soak up the atmosphere at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville or Sloppy Joe’s, the one time favourite bar of Ernest Hemmingway!

We begin thousands of miles away from Key West, with a flight from Australia to the stylish Italian city of Milan on the 6th October 2018.  On arrival you will be transferred to a downtown 4* hotel for an overnight stay, breakfast included.  The following day is very pleasant journey through Northern Italy to the port city of Genoa and up the gangway to board the MSC Divina

Inspired by Sophia Loren, MSC Divina brings you all the elegance and glamour of the golden age of cruise lines in an ecological new way.  On board you’ll find every modern comfort, a variety of sports, leisure facilities and world-class entertainment, including Kids and Teen Clubs to ensure everyone’s happy.   With style, luxury and attention to detail, the MSC Divina boasts a real stone piazza, a Casino Veneziano and Broadway-size Pantheon Theatre. From the elegant Swarovski crystal staircases to the Infinity Pool extending seamlessly out to sea, the MSC Divina is undeniably glamorous.

You have a busy first few days of your cruise now, with the first port of call being Civitavecchia, the port for “The Eternal City”.  Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display.  Ancient ruins such as the Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.

On to France, and the Provence region of France welcomes you to Marseilles.  Marseille is the most renowned and populated metropolitan area in the country after Paris and Lyon. The cafés around the port are wonderful spots to observe the city’s street life.  Particularly good in the afternoon is the north (Le Panier) side, where the terraces are sunnier and the views better. For the best view of the Vieux Port visit the Palais du Pharo, on the headland beyond Fort St-Nicolas, or, for a wider angle, from Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, the city’s Second Empire landmark atop the La Garde hill. To the north of the Vieux Port is the oldest part of Marseille, Le Panier, where, up until the last war, tiny streets, steep steps Mediterranean introduction and houses of every era formed a vieille ville typical of the Côte.

Marseilles Old Port

Onwards to Spain, and its Gaudi’s city of Barcelona for you next.   Spain’s second city, and the self-confident capital and port of Catalunya – vibrates with life, and there’s certainly not another city in the country to touch it for sheer style, looks or energy.  Exploring the city centre will take you to discover its world-class art museums and its fashionable designer restaurants, bars, galleries and shops. And in Antoni Gaudí’s extraordinary church of the Sagrada Família and the world-famous boulevard that is the Ramblas, you have two sites that are high up on any European bucket list.  Your visit to Barcelona could start with the Ramblas, and then dive straight into the medieval nucleus of the city, the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). But there are plenty of other central old-town neighbourhoods to explore too, from La Ribera – home to the celebrated Museu Picasso – to funky El Raval, where cool bars, restaurants and boutiques have mushroomed in the wake of the striking contemporary art museum, MACBA.

The Sagrada Familia looming over Barcelona

A day at sea is a welcome break to allow you to explore your new floating home, before another day in a Spanish port awaits.  Cádiz is among the oldest settlements in Spain and one of the country’s principal ports.   You can visit its old town, built on a peninsula-island, and remaining much as it must have looked in those days, with grand, open squares, sailors’ alleyways and high, turreted houses.   Other options from Cadiz is to explore the local region of Andalusia and its many while villages, you could visit Jerez, the home of Spanish Sherry, or take the drive up to the regional capital of Seville to visit the Cathedral – the final resting place of Christopher Colombus.

Strung out over a series of hills facing the glistening waters of the broad estuary of the Tejo, Lisbon is one of Europe’s most handsome cities.  Although its modern suburbs are ungainly, the historic centre is relatively compact and easy to explore in just a day.   The oldest part of the city, the warren of streets that make up the Alfama, sits below the spectacularly sited Moorish Castelo de São Jorge, its ruined walls facing another hill, the Bairro Alto or upper town, famed for its bars, restaurants and vibrant nightlife. The valley between these hills makes up the Baixa, or lower town.

Praça do Comércio

Two days at sea to relax – you’ve earned it!  And you’ll need it, as the next destination is something really special – The Azores.  Try and find them on the map – there they are, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! Nine stunning volcanic Portuguese islands, steeped in their own history and tradition.  An overnight stay in the city of Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel along with MSC Cruises wide range of shore excursions enable you to explore this intimate location.  It could be a Jeep Safari, Whale Watching off the coast, or drive to the summit of Pico da Barrosa Mountain, where you will see fine views of the Fire Lake, said to be one of the most beautiful of the island’s lake.  Exploring the quaint town will be one of the highlights of your cruise.

Azores, Portugal

The crossing of the Atlantic Ocean is something every true cruise fan must do once in their life.  A chance relive the glory days of the ocean-liner crossings of yesteryear as the nautical miles are clocked up as you sail westbound onboard the MSC Divina.  3 exciting days for you to enjoy the seven restaurants, 20 bars and lounges, four swimming pools, a bowling alley, a gymnasium, a spa and the sports area onboard!

Despite the Spanish first discovering it in the 15th Century, Bermuda was first inhabited when the English vessel Sea Venture, en route to Virginia, USA was separated from its accompanying flotilla and was purposely driven into the coral reef when it began taking on water, thus saving 150 passengers (and 1 dog!).  An so began the colonization by the British, and Bermuda remains a British Overseas Territory to this day.  You will have 2 nights in Bermuda – ample time to see the island known for its pink-sand beaches such as Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay and its massive Royal Naval Dockyard complex which combines modern attractions like the interactive Dolphin Quest with maritime history at the National Museum of Bermuda. The island has a distinctive blend of British and American culture for you to enjoy.


Another day at sea before you sail into the ‘Big Apple’….the city so good they named it twice…New York, New York!   Wandering through the patchwork of neighbourhoods is as great a thrill as any single sight. Frantic Chinatown edges stylish Soho, which is but a stone’s throw from the quiet, angled lanes of the once-bohemian West Village . A perfect espresso in a shabby-chic Williamsburg café, a rooftop view from Chelsea’s High Line or a ride on the “A” to Far Rockaway is worth much more than an “I Love New York” handbag. Cheaper, too, and the memory will last longer.   New York City officially comprises the central island of Manhattan and four outer boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. For many, Manhattan simply is New York – and you’ll probably spend most of your time here.  Two full days to explore New York, and make sure you are on top deck as you sail out of Manhattan and pass by the iconic Statue of Liberty.

New York City

Two further sea days allows you to find the parts of the MSC Divina that you have missed, or have the last cocktail in the menu that you haven’t tried yet, as you cruise then comes to an end in Miami, Florida.  From here you have plenty of choices….

You can hire a car, and drive down to the Florida Keys.  Enjoy a few days in Key West, Key Largo or one of the smaller Cays.  Add on a few days in Fort Lauderdale to explore the Everglades also

…..or you could stay onboard the MSC for the following cruise – an 11 night cruise around the Caribbean Sea, calling at Jamaica, Colombia, Panama, Mexico and The Bahamas, or pop over to Los Angeles and cruise the Mexican Riviera

….or you could explore another region of North America, California is fantastic, and so is Las Vegas

….or after 26 nights away…perhaps you’re simply ready to make the journey home to Australia!

This is a wonderful Transatlantic voyage with spectacular ports of call.  And we have a spectacular package price to top it all off…

Return Flights from Australia + 1 night in a 4* Miami hotel, including Breakfast + All transfers between airport, hotel and ship + 22 night cruise on board MSC Divina…


This is a cruise you simply don’t want to miss – so call the crew at Travel Masters on 1800 672 988 to GRAB THAT CABIN!