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Safari, beaches and breathtaking scenery: the magic of South Africa | Israel today


The variety of meals and activities, the luxurious decks, and especially the silence that is possible even in a crowded place like a luxury ship, make sailing along the coast of South Africa a real pleasure • And when such a ship is the home to which you return from safari tours, Mossel Bay and other spectacular destinations, parting with it becomes a somewhat sad moment

The opening figures - mine, personally - did not bode well.

I have never been on a pleasure cruise, and in recent years, with the introduction of the corona virus into our lives, the fear has even increased.

After all, those who during the peak period of the epidemic were careful to keep as much distance from the public as possible, will not voluntarily enter a ship with thousands of people for a week.

But after three hours in the endless sea on the "Norwegian Jade", the luxury ship of the NCL company (length 294 m, and width 38 m), with a cocktail in one hand and a book I promised myself to finish a few months ago in the other hand , I laughed to myself.

Is that what I was afraid of?

And that was even before I knew what awaited me on land.

Moments of silence.

The deck of the ship, photo: NCL

Welcome to South Africa, a place full of charm, especially if you experience it courtesy of a pampering ship, which provides throughout the visit - along with the addictive waves - also endless attractions and fine food at all hours of the day.

Despite the size of the ship, the fear of the crowds of passengers or the lack of moments of quiet for myself dissipated quite quickly, and it seems that the word that repeated itself during the journey was "privacy".

How quiet, how much space, and all in a ship that meets all possible desires and needs.

creeping magic

One of our smart decisions was not to give up the beach tours of the organizing company.

One of the most attractive of them was in Mossel Bay, perhaps one of the hidden gems of our journey that was a pleasant surprise, next to the stormy and breathtaking Cape Town.

While we were tasting wine and forgetting for a moment what was happening around us, Mossel Bay was revealed as a vibrant city that knows how to give its visitors its charm without forcing it on them.

A hidden gem.

A cheese and wine tour in Mossel Bay,

It may not be one of the most popular destinations in South Africa, but if you can - don't miss the visit to Mossel Bay, and especially the wine tasting there.

The gap between the amount of bottles we bought and hoped to bring to Israel and the orphaned bottle that remained until we landed in Israel says it all. The tour also includes a visit and tasting at a home factory in Teva for cheeses with unique flavors.

And of course you can't visit South Africa without talking about the safari, and we didn't even think for a moment about giving up the experience.

We visited the Edo Elephant Park, and Tula Tula Safari, the Zulu hunting area.

Although we tried to imagine what it was going to look like, the reality exceeded all expectations: the immediate encounter with wild nature and the complete disconnection from the outside world made us understand why people instantly become addicted to nature in Africa.

The ride in a 4x4 vehicle in the nature and the surrounding silence, of course without disturbing the animals passing by the vehicle, provide unforgettable moments.

Adjacent view.

A room with a balcony in the ship, photo: NCL

You look to the right and notice two elephant parents crossing the path, protecting their little pylon while walking.

A look in another direction reveals a noble giraffe, who walks quietly ahead of us and joins her friends.

A true disconnection from everything we know in today's marathon, whose place is taken by silence and patience, and nature unfolds before us in all its might.

Not resting for a moment (only in the spa)

Anyone who has ever been on a sailing vacation in their life knows the arrangement: docking at well-arranged beaches, going down to the beach for a few hours or for a whole day, and sailing in the evening and at night when the center of activity returns to the impressive ship.

The luxury ship we sailed on impressed us from the first step on board: the investment in planning and design is evident in every corner, and nothing is left to chance.

You can look out over the smooth sea even while bathing in the pools located at a high altitude, and from all the jacuzzi facilities (and there is no shortage of such).

The never-ending debate between the desire to go on another trip on land and an almost impossible attempt to exhaust all the possible attractions that the ship has to offer, accompanied us throughout the week.

As someone who suffers from nausea on long trips, I was afraid that on a long voyage, with the fluctuations of the waves, I would suffer especially.

But these vibrations, even if you feel them, are caressing like the rocking of a baby in a cradle, and certainly do not cause discomfort.

take a break while traveling.

A tour of the Edu Elephant Park, photo: NCL

In the culinary department, the ship definitely meets all the needs, even for a pampered one like me.

Apart from the variety of special restaurants on the ship - including the goose steak restaurant, Italian, Japanese and other styles - the main dining room with the rich buffet offers an endless variety of meals (including a chef who prepares the morning egg for the guest's choice, as we Israelis like).

Between the meals and the beating on board you can also go to relax in the spa complex, which to my surprise was very intimate and romantic.

Among other things, you can enjoy a huge jacuzzi, most of which has windows overlooking the sea, and warm stone beds for relaxing with a book.

Throughout the day in the various complexes there is a rich program for all ages - children, youth and adults - and each evening you receive a page in the rooms detailing the activities for the next day, including when and where they take place: starting with painting workshops on canvas and a special room for teenagers (to which children and adults are not allowed), From a bar with singers, to performances and parties by theme.

For the parents who want some quality time for themselves, there is a special babysitting complex where you can leave the children, who will enjoy activities adapted to them with close supervision.

For all sports lovers - there is a gym and a walking track with a morning breeze, and also a basketball court.

As mentioned, even though the ship has everything you need - don't give up the trips to the beaches.

Already when you book your vacation, it is recommended to sign up for tours, because the places are taken up quickly and it would be a shame to miss out.

We spent the long hours from the end of the cruise until the flight (the ship leaves in the early morning hours) in the bustling city of Durban.

I already finished the book on the flight back home, and after a quick look at the photos we took on the mobile phone - we assured ourselves that the next trip we would only take on a cruise ship like this. 

The author was a guest of NCL

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-02-27

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