One of the great things about a cruise holiday is that it can be whatever you want it to be – a family holiday, a city break, a sightseeing tour – and take you wherever you want to go, from the capital cities of Europe to the far side of the world.

It’s those far-off luxury cruise destinations we’re going to focus on here, with a rundown of the most chic countries, islands and cities you could be visiting on your next cruise holiday with┬áMSC:

The Caribbean

One of the most popular luxury cruise locations in the world is the Caribbean – and its not hard to see why it is popular with everyone from cruise passengers to celebrities. This extensive collection of sunsoaked islands enjoys fantastic weather conditions that are ideal for making the most of its white-sand beaches and azure waters that are teeming with aquatic life.

Some of the finest islands in the region, not only for their beaches but their lively resorts too, are the Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica, but there are many more to choose from.

If you’re not a film star you’ll certainly feel like one the first time you set foot on a Caribbean and feel the warm sand between your toes and a gentle tropical breeze in your hair – paradise.

South Africa

If you want an adventure holiday that exudes class, South Africa is the destination for you. Where else can you go whale watching, spot the majestic Big Five on safari and taste world-class wines in spectacular mountainous surroundings?

Not only that, but South Africa is also home to the beguiling city of Cape Town, famed for its Table Mountain cable car ride, penguin colony at Boulders Beach and as the gateway to the most southerly point on the African continent.

On the other side of the country is sunsoaked Durban – the perfect place to hit the beach and catch a few waves.

United Arab Emirates

If South Africa represents classy luxury, then the United Arab Emirates stands for ostentatious luxury. Home to some of the world’s tallest buildings, most outrageous planning projects and unbelievably wealthy residents living the ultimate bling lifestyles, you can really indulge yourself on a visit to Dubai.

You really won’t believe some of the sights you see in this desert fantasy land where money is no object and the only limitation is the human imagination. The world’s tallest building, the world’s largest marina and the world’s only seven-star hotel (as if five wasn’t enough) are all waiting to be marvelled at in this city, whose residents seem to be competing amongst themselves to be the best.

The Med

For every ten cheap and cheerful seaside resorts, the Med has a gem of a place to entice even the most discerning of travellers. Many of the Greek and Italian islands are popular celebrity haunts, not to mention the glamour of the Cote d’Azur in southern France and the cultural clout of the region’s big cities, such as Rome and Barcelona – all of which can be enjoyed under the hot Mediterranean sun.

The beaches and snorkelling here can rival that found in the Caribbean and the food in Italy and France is hard to surpass. It might be close to home, but the Med certainly has the wow factor.

Photo by dgmckelvey on Flickr