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MSC Cruises' exclusive beach day at Taranto, Italy, to be first of more

PHOTO: PORT AUTHORITY OF TARANTO CRUISE_Taranto_Photo_Port_Authority_of_Taranto.jpg
Fine sand and a gentle southern breeze at the edge of the crystal blue Ionian Sea
A private beach awaits MSC Seaside passengers at the historic port of Taranto in southern Italy, and MSC Cruises expects to introduce more such experiences in the Mediterranean this summer.

The line shared more details about this stop on the ship's recently announced seven-night program that also includes the new-to-MSC port of Siracusa in Sicily, along with Genoa, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Valletta in Malta.

Three lidos with beach club facilities

'We have worked to privatize three lidos with all the facilities of a beach club so that our guests can enjoy this beautiful stretch of coast in Puglia, close to Taranto. With this, we have also established a blueprint for this type of experience, and we will now work to introduce more private beach experiences at other destinations this summer,' MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said.

Blue Flag beach

The day at Taranto revolves around a Blue Flag beach — meaning it complies with environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria — with fine sand and a gentle southern breeze at the edge of the crystal blue Ionian Sea.

Three lidos on the Marina di Taranto will be available exclusively for MSC passengers on the day Seaside is in port, and 'bubble' transfers between the ship and beach will be available at fixed times. The lidos are equipped with umbrellas and lounge chairs, a bar and restaurant, bathroom facilities, showers and changing rooms.

MSC said the health and safety measures at the beach will follow the same high standards as on board.

Taranto excursions

In addition, 'bubble' excursions will include a tour of Taranto, founded by the Greeks in 8th century BC as part of Magna Graecia; the Sassi caves in Matera, the first town to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and Alberobello, a town famous for its whitewashed trulli, distinctive round stone houses with conical roofs. Alberobello is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Further excursions are to the Baroque town of Lecce, often called 'the Florence of the south'; 'Art and Flavors of Puglia,' a guided walk around Grottaglie, famous for its pottery, with a visit to a ceramics workshop; and medieval Ostuni with an olive oil tasting at a traditional oil mill.

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