Enjoy your Christmas sunshine at sea as we explore the fascinating diversity of Cape Verde and the Bissagos Islands – two very different island archipelagos in the seas off Western Africa.
Africa to Cape Verde
From rocky volcanic promontories in the deep Atlantic, warmed by the dry Saharan winds in the north, to lush and humid tropical rainforests further south, you’ll experience a mosaic of cultures, peoples, traditions, landscapes and ecosystems. Dakar, the buzzing capital of Senegal, lies on a promontory jutting out into the ocean. It’s the most affluent and influential city in Western Africa, and the preeminent hub of one of the continent’s most successful democracies. The nearby island of Gorée played a historical role in the slave trade, and is a draw for many visitors.
Laid-back Cape Verde, where we’ll be over Christmas, is situated around 350 miles from the African mainland. Its location creates some rare oceanic habitats, with coral reefs rich in marine life, and seas where cetaceans and turtles thrive. It’s also a bird-watchers paradise, with many fascinating species arriving as temporary visitors, together with several extremely rare endemic species.
Bissagos Islands and back to Africa
The Bissagos archipelago, located off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, is a pristine tropical paradise. These islands, which are a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, are known for their incredible biodiversity. They are also home to the Bijagos people – who have retained their ancient animistic beliefs, and live in a matriarchal society where women manage the economic, political and religious lives of their communities.
The tiny city of Banjul is the capital of Gambia, itself the smallest country in mainland Africa. For centuries, the River Gambia was once a hub of the cruel slave trade. Places like James Island, nowadays a UNESCO World Heritage Site, bear testimony to this tragic period in history.
The vibrant capital of Senegal
Day 2At Sea
Bound for Cape Verde
Day 3Praia, Cape Verde
The African soul of Cape Verde
Day 4Sal Rei, Cape Verde
Christmas Eve on Sahara island
Day 5Porto Novo, Cape Verde
Christmas Day on a paradise island
Day 6São Filipe, Cape Verde
Adventure landing on an active volcano
Day 7At Sea
Bound for the Bissagos Islands
Day 8-11Bissagos Islands, Guinea-Bissau
Matriarchal societies in a biodiversity hotspot
Day 12Banjul, The Gambia
The smallest capital in Africa
The end of the expedition
Included in your voyage
Post-Programme in Dakar after the cruise
- Dakar City Tour, day room at hotel in Dakar, including lunch
- Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
- Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
- Range of included activities
- Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
- Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
- Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research
- Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
- Use of the ship’s hot tubs, sun deck and lounge chairs, panoramic sauna, and indoor gym
- Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come
- Escorted landings with small expedition boats
- Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
- Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings
Not included in your voyage
- Air travel
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
- All planned activities are subject to weather and sea conditions
- Excursions and activities are subject to change
- Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
- Please make sure you meet all vaccination requirements (global health insurance recommended)
- No gratuities expected
|Year of refurbishment||2016|
|Shipyard||Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)|
Our new ship, MS Spitsbergen will take you on a voyage beyond the ordinary.