On board the Azamara Journey, you’ll get…
South Africa is a truly fascinating country, with vast open spaces as well as lively towns and cities. It covers an area equivalent to five times the size of Britain, with a climate ranging from temperate, Mediterranean and sub-tropical to desert; it offers spectacular scenery with arguably the finest wildlife on earth and no less than eleven official languages. South Africa is truly a world-class destination!
We begin our holiday with an overnight flight to Cape Town and a stay at the four-star Protea Hotel by Marriott in Stellenbosch. After a full day exploring the Winelands, we emark the Azamara Journey in Cape Town. After a day at sea, we will arrive in Port Elizabeth on the aptly named Sunshine Coast. Riviera Travel passengers will then visit the Addo Elephant National Parkon the lookout for wild elephants.
We enjoy another day at sea, during which you are free to enjoy the facilities onboard. You have $50 onboard credit included, so you can treat yourself to a massage in the Sanctum Spa, or try one of the speciality restaurants. Make sure you pack a white outfit for the White Party, being as casual or formal as you wish, but make sure you are comfortable enough to dance!
Next we journey to Richards Bay and St Lucia Estuary, home to an abundance of wildlife. The next day, we will discover Durban with a sightseeing tour in the morning. The following day we spend the afternoon in East London before the ship departs in the evening.
We then have a full day at sea, so you have plenty of time to make the most of all the ship has to offer before taking a seat near the panoramic windows, to really enjoy an astounding sunset.
Over the next two days we see the Cape Peninsula and Cape Town, before returning home to the UK at the end of the cruise. The memories and photographs you have at the end will be passed round dinner parties for years to come!
Arrive at the airport for your overnight flight to Cape Town.
On arrival we transfer by coach to Stellenbosch, a genteel university town renowned for its world-class wine, grand architecture and interesting museums.
Our two-night stay at the four-star Protea Hotel by Marriott Stellenbosch includes breakfast.
The afternoon is at your leisure to relax or venture into town to discover this vibrant town.
After breakfast we experience the beautiful Winelands, where the majestic mountains around Stellenbosch provide the perfect microclimate for the vines. Set in a fertile valley against an undulating backdrop of manicured vines and orchards, the lush Winelands are peppered by limewashed wineries built in the Cape Dutch style, their rounded gables reminiscent of Amsterdam’s townhouses.
We first discover Stellenbosch itself, the second-oldest European settlement in the province founded in the 17th century and home to the oldest university in South Africa. Splendid Georgian, Victorian and Cape Dutch buildings grace the town’s oak-lined streets, creating a distinguished atmosphere.
Lunch is included at the Devon Valley Hotel, a gem of a property set on valley slopes affording gorgeous views. After further time to explore Stellenbosch, we enjoy a fascinating cellar tour and tasting at the award-winning Neethlingshof Wine Estate.
Then we visit Franschhoek, a lovely small town founded by French Huguenots more than 300 years ago – the town’s name means ‘French Corner’ in Dutch. The self-proclaimed gastronomic capital of South Africa offers fantastic eateries, of course, but also superb art galleries, shops and wineries.
After breakfast we transfer to Cape Town, where we embark the Azamara Journey. Our floating boutique hotel sets sail early this evening along South Africa’s coastline. Guests of Riviera Travel will also enjoy an exclusive wine pairing event on board, hosted by one of the ship’s own experts.
Make the most of the Azamara Journey’s superb facilities during our full day at sea. Join a class at the fitness centre, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the Sanctum Spa or unwind on the pool deck. You may wish to continue your journey of discovery through the enrichment programme, which includes a range of insightful classes, demonstrations and lectures. Perhaps test your luck at the ship’s casino or reserve one of our ‘Nights in Private Places’ (at an additional cost) – an evening of pampering for two attended by a personal butler.
Awake at the western end of the Sunshine Coast in Port Elizabeth – often shortened to PE – a welcoming city known for its beaches and marine life. Included for guests of Riviera Travel is a visit to Addo Elephant National Park, where we have lunch and embark on a game drive to see wild elephants up close. South Africa’s third-largest national park is a sanctuary not only for elephants, but also the other species of ‘the Big Seven’ like lions, leopards, rhinos and buffaloes. Game-viewing is an intensely moving experience with nothing preparing you for the waves of emotion inspired by an encounter with these wonderful, almost-regal creatures thriving in their natural habitat.
In Port Elizabeth, there’s plenty to see and do instead until our ship departs tonight. Visit Donkin Reserve, a hilltop park dedicated to Elizabeth Donkin, wife of Cape Colony governor Rufane Donkin. Follow the heritage trail here between monuments and artworks, which highlight the milestones of Port Elizabeth’s history. A stone pyramid bears a touching inscription ‘in the memory of one of the most perfect human beings who has given her name to the town below’. Or head to Hobie Beach to dig your toes in the sand and watch the windsurfers skimming the Indian Ocean.
Spend another day at sea discovering all the superb Azamara Journey has to offer. Enjoy a massage at the spa, your favourite tipple at the convivial Discoveries Lounge or challenge your newfound friends to a game. You can, of course, catch up with your Riviera Travel tour manager to prepare for your included experiences that await the following day.
Experience South Africa’s rugged coastline, pristine beaches and mist-cloaked hills in Richards Bay, perched on a lagoon where the River Mhlatuze meets the Indian Ocean. Today we drive to the charming village of St Lucia for an included boat cruise around St Lucia Estuary – known as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park – an incredible UNESCO-listed wonderland home to a remarkable array of wildlife species, from hippos and crocodiles to flamingos. Lunch is also included at the Ocean Sizzler restaurant.
After a fascinating day, we return to the ship with time to relax before another delicious dinner on board.
Today we discover Durban, South Africa’s third-largest city boasting golden-sand beaches, deep valleys and impressive mountains. It’s home to a large Indian community, which has enriched the local culture with its wonderful cuisine and traditions.
During our sightseeing tour this morning, our expert guide will show us the Golden Mile, a popular stretch of beachfront lined with shops, restaurants and hotels; the Point Waterfront, where Gandhi lived during the 1900s; the Neo-Baroque Durban City Hall, perhaps the city’s most impressive building; the bustling markets at Warwick Junction; Phansi Museum (admission not included) which features an impressive collection of tribal artefacts; and the beautiful Durban Botanic Gardens, Africa’s oldest surviving botanic garden and home to rare plants.
Afterwards there’s free time to wander at your own pace before the Azamara Journey departs this cosmopolitan gem early this evening.
This afternoon we find ourselves in East London, a delightful city situated on the northern end of the Sunshine Coast between two rivers. Founded in the early 19th century and named after our great capital, it features sandy beaches lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, charming architecture and a thriving cultural scene.
Stroll along Orient Beach, visit the fascinating natural history museum or go on safari at the Mpongo Private Game Reserve. Remainders of East London’s colonial past can be seen in the few colonial buildings still standing in the city centre, namely the grand City Hall. Built in the Victorian style, it’s a striking landmark with its red exterior and contrasting white trim. The clock tower was a later addition to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and a monument in front commemorates those who fell in the Boer War.
The ship departs this evening as we sit down to another delicious dinner.
It’s our final full day at sea, so what is it to be? Catch up with newly made friends in the lounge or pick up some souvenirs at the on-board shop. If you wish to relax in your room, there’s entertainment on demand and live TV. Evenings aboard as just as enjoyable, with thrilling shows at the Cabaret Lounge and intimate performances in the Living Room.
This morning we return to Cape Town, an exceptionally beautiful city crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain. It’s a real multi-cultural melting pot, with stunning Cape architecture, superb beaches, world-class restaurants and fabulous street artists adding to its cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Our day is filled with memorable highlights, all included with your holiday. Firstly, we drive past unspoilt beaches to the picturesque fishing harbour of Hout Bay for a cruise to Seal Island, where you can view thousands of Cape fur seals up-close in their natural habitat.
Then we continue along the breathtakingly scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive full of rugged seascapes to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, a stunning section of Table Mountain National Park and one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Some 250 species of birds have been spotted here, including cormorants and ostriches, and interestingly, the Cape Peninsula alone has twice as many plant varieties as Britain, which is 5,000 times bigger. Next it’s Cape Point itself, where we see the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean currents and the treacherous promontory of rocks and swells, the scourge of mariners for centuries. A return ticket on the funicular is included.
We call at charming Simon’s Town, the seat of the South African navy and where we visit Boulders Beach to see its colony of delightful African penguins.
This evening is sure to be a highlight for many as we head to Cape Town’s City Hall for an exclusive performance by Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, exclusively for you and your fellow passengers.
Our last day in Cape Town includes a most enjoyable city tour. Weather permitting, we ride the cable car to the top of iconic Table Mountain for fabulous views, and also visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27-year incarceration and whose visitors since its opening have included Margaret Thatcher and Bill Clinton.
Then we drive to the stunning Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, located just outside Cape Town and set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Unique flora and location make these some of most breathtaking gardens in the world. Over 7,000 of the country’s 22,000 plant species are grown here, such as the Cape Floral Kingdom's famous fynbos.
Later we return to the city, where the rest of the day is free. Perhaps wander where your feet take you, look out for some bargain shopping at the Waterfront or simply relax on the Azamara Journey before our final dinner on board.
After breakfast, we disembark in Cape Town and transfer to the airport for our flight home.
We arrive back in the UK today.
The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes:
Your boutique hotel at sea, the Azamara Journey is a mid-sized ship with a deck plan that’s intimate but never crowded, boasting everything modern voyagers are looking for – plus some unexpected extras.
Re-imagined staterooms include modern amenities and furnishings and come with plush cotton robes and slippers, French bath products, fresh flowers, and 24-hour room service. The ship also features a large number of staterooms and suites with balconies, perfect for starting your day with fresh sea air and stunning views.
Add to all of that world-class dining options, spa experiences to relax and refresh, and all new entertainment offerings, the on-board experience is matched only by the immersive cultural encounters in store for you on shore.
Treat yourself to health, beauty, and restorative treatments in the new Sanctum Spa; enjoy treatments ranging from an ocean-front massage to a quick manicure, hairstyling services, or even acupuncture. Beyond the spa, there is a selection of complimentary on-board fitness classes, as well as a well-equipped gym for you to work out at your own pace.
Main dining options vary from elegant a la carte to nightly themed buffets, with the possibility to visit the ship’s speciality restaurants. On-board entertainment takes in signature shows and guest performers, as well as live bands playing each night.
Across the Azamara fleet, authentic service goes beyond the expectations of even the most well-travelled cruisers. Friendly and approachable, staff are attentive, and happy to offer everything from poolside service to recommendations for your on-shore exploration.
Your cabin number will be allocated by Azamara and will be confirmed on your travel documents. If you have a specific request please call and speak to one of our experts.
We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.
British and Irish passport holders do not currently require a visa. However, please ensure that your passport is valid for at least 30 days after the intended return date and there are at least two completely empty pages.
As of June 2015, if you are travelling to South Africa or transiting through a South African airport with a minor, new documentation requirements apply. Please visit the following website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa/entry-requirements for more information.
Whilst care has been taken to ensure that the information provided relating to visa requirements is true and correct at time of publication, changes in requirements after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information. Therefore, whilst we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, we strongly suggest that you reconfirm requirements with the relevant embassy prior to application.
All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us.
|Arrival airport||First hotel location||Transfer time||Final ship location||Departure airport||Transfer time|
|Cape Town International Airport||Stellenbosch||1 hr||Cape Town||Cape Town International Airport||1 hr|