MSC JAPAN VOYAGE - Cherry Blossom Season



Next May, just in time for Japan’s famous cherry blossom season, MSC Splendida will set sail on a nine-night round-trip from Yokohama, taking in some of the islands’ most beautiful natural, historic and contemporary sights. Cherry-blossom viewing is celebrated with picnics in parks, poetry sessions and everything imaginable turns pink – including fizzy drinks and cherry-flavoured cakes.

MSC Splendida will circumnavigate the main island of Honshu, calling at Fushiki-Toyama, Kanazawa and Maizuru; then she will spend half a day at Busan in South Korea, before visiting Kagoshima on Kyushu Island and Kochi on Shikoku Island.

Each port offers a fascinating insight into the many different facets of the Japanese way of life, from gleaming high-rise cities to exquisite gardens, traditional ceremonies and crafts, ancient temples and feudal castles. The Japanese archipelago is also blessed with many scenic wonders – hot springs, forests and rivers – and a famously active volcano that overlooks the attractive seaside city of Kagoshima.

Two separate days at sea offer the chance for guests to make the most of MSC Splendida ’s many attractions. The stylish, modern ship is one of five in MSC Cruises’ fleet to feature the MSC Yacht Club, a luxurious ship-within-a-ship that has 71 spacious suites, its own Concierge Reception, 24-hour butler service, plus a private lounge, pool deck and bar.

Maintaining fitness is a breeze on board as the ship boasts four swimming pools, a jogging track, squash court and state-of-the-art gym – and the exotic Aurea Spa offers a fabulous range of Balinese massages, beauty treatments, thalassotherapy, a steam bath, solarium and whirlpool.

Wining and dining is world-class onboard MSC Splendida; there are dozens of bars and restaurants offering a smorgasbord of cuisines, from traditional Mediterranean dishes to spicy Tex-Mex. Guests can enjoy live music every night in different venues around the ship and spectacular shows are staged in the stunning Strand Theater.

MSC Splendida’s nine-night Yokohama round-trip cruise departs on May 6, 2018. Fares start from NZ$1,699 per person; children under the age of 18 sharing a cabin with parents cruise free only paying port charges.

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MSC Cruises is the number one cruise line in Europe, South America and South Africa, and sails year-round in the Mediterranean, Cuba and the Caribbean. Seasonal itineraries cover Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the French Antilles, South America, southern Africa, and Arabian Peninsula with a new cruise in the Far East.

In 2014, MSC Cruises launched an investment plan to support the second phase of its growth through the order of two ships of the Meraviglia Class and two others of the Seaside Class (plus an option for a third one) and in February 2016, confirmed the existing options to build a further two now Meraviglia-Plus Class ships with an even greater capacity. In April 2016 this rose to €9 billion with the announcement of the signing of the slot reservation agreement to build a further four ships, each with next-generation LNG propulsion technology. MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this length and magnitude, that between 2017 and 2020 will have already delivered six new cruise ships.

The MSC Cruise experience embodies the elegant side of the Mediterranean to create unique and unforgettable emotions for guests, through the discovery of the world’s cultures, beauties and tastes. Its fleet comprises 13 modern ships: MSC Meraviglia, MSC Preziosa; MSC Divina; MSC Splendida; MSC Fantasia; MSC Magnifica; MSC Poesia; MSC Orchestra; MSC Musica; MSC Sinfonia; MSC Armonia; MSC Opera and MSC Lirica.

MSC Cruises feels a deep responsibility for the environments in which it operates, and was the first company ever to earn the Bureau Veritas "7 Golden Pearls" for superior management and environmental stewardship. In 2009, MSC Cruises began an enduring partnership with UNICEF to support various programmes assisting children worldwide. So far, more than €6.5 million has been collected involuntary guest donations.