Today the tiny island of Isle of Pines in New Caledonia has a small airport, but at one time, the only way to reach it was by following the same sea path as visitors on an MSC cruise ship in Kuto Bay
This corner of the South Pacific was the home of rebels and criminals sent there by the French government in the second half of the 19th century.
The prison facilities have been abandoned for decades but can still be visited among the pastures and cultivated fields found along the sides of the road
Four times smaller than Tahiti, Isle of Pines is an incomparable tourist destination thanks to its warm, blue, crystalline waters and white sandy beaches. It's hard to believe that in the past it was chosen to be a prison.
Other highlights that are more interesting than the ruins of the prison bath are N’Ga Peak, the highest point on the island, and Queen Hortense’s Grotto, the most famous of its numerous caves. Just 262 meters from N'Ga Peak, you will find the tall pines that give Isle of Pines its name and which struck the imagination of explorer James Cook when he arrived
On an MSC Cruises small boat excursion, you will discover Isle of Pines’ coastline and enchanting places including Ilôt Brosse (Brush Island): a desert island just a few miles away. Starting from sheltered Kanumera Bay with its twin beaches, you can head towards Turtle Bay, true to its name as the home of a colony of green and loggerhead sea turtles. Visitors to Brush Island can snorkel or relax on the beach just steps away from the column of pines that make these islands unique in the world.
All excursions are subject to availability. Please log in to find out the excursions available for your cruise.
Ile des Pins, New Caledonia
A Happy Retreat
Ferrol, an MSC Northern Europe Cruises destination, is located on Spain’s Atlantic coast in the community of Galicia. Shielded from the ocean by rugged cliffs, this ancient maritime port town has plenty to offer. See the 16th-century San Felipe Castle or drop by the fascinating naval museum. Nearby, Santiago de Compostela makes for an extraordinary day out, thanks to its UNESCO World Heritage Site historical centre.
● Ferrol’s Seafaring Soul and San Felipe Castle
● Explore La Coruña: the ‘City of Glass’
● Santiago de Compostela
Resting on Spain’s Atlantic coastline, the city of Ferrol is steeped in maritime history. Explore the town’s seafaring past on an MSC Cruises excursion with a visit to the Naval Museum. Discover shipwrecks, maps, sails, weapons, and models of sunken ships. Next, enjoy a scenic boat cruise along the beautiful Galician coastline, dotted with picturesque seaside villages. Finally, visit the 16th-century San Felipe Castle, a dramatic coastal fortress constructed from stone and earth. Take in the fabulous views of the Ferrol estuary and the city harbour beyond.
The sun reflecting on La Coruña’s galleria windows creates a striking mirage of reflections. An MSC Cruises excursion to the ‘City of Glass’ offers a day filled with history, beauty, and character. Take a coach ride along the harbour, via the island of Castelo de San Antón, to the 2nd-century Hercules Tower – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the summit of Mount San Pedro, take in superb views of La Coruña with its Baroque, Romanesque, and Renaissance architecture. Finally, enjoy a walk in the historical centre and see the elegant town hall. A stop at Maria Pita Square – named for the woman who helped defeat the English Armada – allows for shopping and refreshments.
Santiago de Compostela is one of Spain's chief religious centres and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On an MSC Cruise excursion, you’ll leave the ship in Ferrol for a picturesque Galician coach ride. In Santiago de Compostela, wander ancient streets and squares, en route to the impressive Praza do Obradoiro. Admire the imposing cathedral with its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque features — the supposed burial place of St. James the Great!
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