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Last week we announced the opening of 2014 cruise bookings, and started taking reservations on the MSC Opera.

Cruise news: There are no discounts anymore on OP027, the 21 February MSC Opera cruise from Cape Town to Walvis & Luderitz.

The First 2014 Cruise Booking

The very first booking we made for the 2014 season was for 4 adults sharing an outside cabin on OP22, the 27th January 2014 cruise from Durban to the Portuguese Island and Inhambane.

Number

Position

Cruise

Cat

Total Quote

Special Included

4 adults

Outside (window)

OP22

8

R 13 268

40% Prima

Note the 40% discount we offered on the cabin charges - you can get this deal on a lot of cruises at the moment.

Vir beskprekings in Afrikaans gaan na MSC Opera Bootvaarte  Ukubhalisela uhambo ngesi Xhosa, thumela ku cruises@southafrica.to

Get Romantic

Happy Valentines Day! OP27 is the 2014 Valentines cruise, from the 14th to the 17th February, on the MSC Opera from Durban to the Portuguese Island.

Why book early?

You can pick and choose the cruise you want to go on and the type of cabin (as time goes on balcony cabins and 4-sleeper cabins especially tend to sell out).

Part of the pleasure of a cruise comes from the anticipation thereof, and people who book cruises well in advance gain extra enjoyment from this anticipation.

MSC Opera cruise ship

 

We recommend flying to King Shaka the night before your cruise, and staying in Ballito at Coco De Mer.

London flight prices
Experience London at its finest, when the parks are in bloom and the air cool. Spring is the perfect time to experience the city before the summer crowds arrive. Enjoy the gentle sun as you stroll through the city's big parks and duck into stylish shops when the rain comes pouring down. Its not only the weather that makes spring so attractive, flight prices are also fairly affordable throughout the months of April and May. Travellers planning a shopping spree should look carefully before booking though, as so many airlines are now excluding checked luggage.

flight path from London to Johannesburg


Cheap JNB-London from R7,487*
(British Airways- depart 9 April, return 16 April 2019)

Cheap CPT-London from R9,184*
(Emirates- depart 9 April, return 16 April 2019)

Cheap DUR-London from R8,134*
(British Aiways- depart 9 April, return 16 April 2019)

Direct JNB-LON from R10,577*
(Virgin Atlantic- depart 11 April, return 18 April 2019)

Direct CPT-LON from R7,837*
(British Airlines- depart 14 May, return 21 May 2019)

Premium Econ. JNB-LON from R14,747*
(Virgin Atlantic- depart 14 May, return 21 May 2019)

B. Class JNB-LONfrom R22,571*
(Kenya Airways- depart 14 May, return 21 May 2019)

B. Class CPT-LON from R23,791*
(Kenya Airways- depart 16 May, return 23 May 2019)

1-way JNB-LON from R5,229*
(Emirates- 18 April 2019)

*This is not an offer, but merely a snapshot of cheapest airfares as we saw them. There was very limited availability (don't expect it to be on every date, it was the cheapest we could find) when we checked & prices may have increased already. Click through the link on the price to check whether the price is still available. Remember to change class once page has loaded to check prices for Premium Economy and Business Class. For Direct Fligth prices, select direct flights once page has loaded.

 

So, if you've got nothing to read tonight....here's a copy of the Tourism Bill 2012 which Minister Van Schalkwyk introduced this week. Previously the Tourism Act of 1993 governed the sector. Inter alia, the new bill establishes the Tourism Grading Council as a statutory entity.

Flights to London may become more expensive, as London's Heathrow Airport has applied to increase passenger charges. Their proposal is that passenger charges increase from £19.33 per passenger now to £21.96 in 2014, and £27.30 from April 2018.

Mr B Topham has resigned as an independent non-executive director of 1time Holdings "in order to pursue other business interests".

The Purple shall rule! Jen explains why not to visit the Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse (in the KZN Midlands) if you're on diet! "If you're into good food, you REALLY need to try this place. Each evening, before dinner, chef and owner Richard Poynton gathers all guests (I think there are 12 rooms, so max 24 people) together in the lounge and explains in glorious detail what's on the menu for that evening. Where did the ingredients come from (they focus a lot on local produce, including from their own garden), how the dishes are prepared, what tastes to expect. After 30 minutes of this, the lounge is full of drool! It's a standard menu (did I mention that it's 6 or 7 courses?) for everyone, but you can make special requests for allergies, etc. He particularly points out that this is not a place for people on diet. If you are, don't even bother. It would be a travesty! Best food I've eaten in the world!!! Prawns in a soy beurre bland sauce is to die for and the clear tomato soup tastes like the flavour from every tomato in the kitchen was forced into an espresso cup."

Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands

Views expressed here aren't necessarily those of SouthAfrica.TO's.

                 
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The Bottom Line: "Tourism is a key element in the promotion of growth, socio-economic development and unity of our continent...Tourism is regarded as a fast growing industry that is likely to contribute immensely to the eradication of poverty...The AU Commission wishes to maximise exploitation of this sector in its bid to improve the livelihood of the people of the continent and, at the same time, market what is best of Africa to the world." Tokozile Xasa, the Deputy Minister of Tourism on tourism in Africa.

"Group occupancies for the six months to 31 December 2012 increased to 63% from 60% in the previous interim reporting period. Revenue for the period increased by 11% to R492,1 million, mainly as a result of improved occupancies and the resultant increase in the number of rooms sold. Achieved room rates increased in line with inflation...The Courtyard Joint Venture showed an encouraging improvement in performance and reported a profit of R909 000 compared to a loss of R1,1 million in the previous interim period...The Kenyan Joint Venture, which currently comprises 50% stakes in the Fairview Hotel and the Country Lodge in Nairobi, made its first contribution to the group, achieving an equity accounted profit after tax of R7,3 million. This was ahead of our expectations...The construction of the 104-room Town Lodge in Gaborone, Botswana has been completed and regulatory approvals are now awaited. It is anticipated that the hotel will open for trading by the end of February...Investigations are continuing into expansion opportunities in East Africa, West Africa and certain SADC countries. In South Africa, a site is in the process of being acquired for the development of a 90-room Road Lodge in Pietermaritzburg. Total development cost of this hotel will be approximately R40 million with construction scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2013 for completion by the end of 2013 or early 2014. A process has been initiated to refresh the four brands logos to reflect the ongoing changes and enhancements that have been introduced over the years. This is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2013...The improving occupancy trend has continued into 2013 and the group has enjoyed some benefit from the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament." City Lodge Hotels Limited.