Buy One Get One: West Africa Archipelago Cruise: Cape Verde and Bissagos Islands with Hurtigruten
Price: $4,836.50USD Per Person
(Price per person, based on double occupancy, cabin category I2D.)
Offer: BOGO - Buy One Get One
Departure Date: January 2, 2024
Return Date: January 16, 2024
Photo: Hurtigruten | Guinea Bissau| Blue-breasted Kingfisher
Join us as we discover the fascinating cultural, geographical and biological diversity of two African archipelagos, from beautiful Cape Verde to the tropical Bissagos Islands.
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages in the Aune restaurant
- 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 fill at onboard water refill stations
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organizes and guides activities, both on board and ashore
- In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team
- Full use of our Science Center, extensive library, and advanced biological and geological equipment
- The Citizen Science Program allows guests to contribute to ongoing scientific research projects
- The ship has hot tubs, a sauna with a view, and a gym
- Join informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings
- Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
Photo: Map of West Africa Archipelago Cruise: Cape Verde and Bissagos Islands
Day 1: Welcome to Africa!
Begin your adventure in Senegal’s vibrant capital. Dakar is colorful and captivating—the perfect place to start your West Africa expedition. The capital of Senegal is an exciting and diverse mix of cultures. It is also a showcase for stable African democracy. Take some time to adjust to a new culture and get ready for the exciting voyage ahead. If you want to explore more the area before your expedition cruise, you can book a Pre-Program excursion to visit the Bandia Nature Reserve. Ride an open vehicle safari through the African savanna for some exciting wildlife spotting. Keep an eye out for giraffes, buffalo, monkeys, gazelles, ostriches, rhinos, and more.
Day 2: Visiting Île de Gorée
Tragic history combined with natural beauty. After breakfast you’ll visit the historical UNESCO site of Île de Gorée. This island was once the largest slave trading center on the African coast. It is now filled with forts and museums and is a memorial to the suffering of the countless enslaved peoples who passed through this tragic place. Learn more on a visit to the Maison des Esclaves (Slave House) Museum. We’ll also tour the baobab-shaded streets of the town, where local artisans sell their crafts. MS Spitsbergen will be waiting for you back on the mainland to depart to Cape Verde in the late evening.
Day 3: Bound for Cape Verde
Get set for island adventures. Today we continue our voyage west toward the Cape Verde Islands. There will be plenty of time to get acquainted with your fellow passengers and Expedition Team. Enjoy the onboard comforts, from delicious meals and drinks in the Explorer Lounge &Bar to relaxing in the panoramic sauna or a hot tub on deck. To learn more about what’s ahead, join the Expedition Team for fascinating lectures in the Science Center and pick up pointers from our professional photographer as you watch for marine life and seabirds.
Day 4: Diverse Santiago
See Santiago’s eclectic mix of cultural influences. Santiago embodies the spirit of the Cape Verde archipelago. Here, you can enjoy a little of everything, from historical sites and bustling markets to lush valleys and jagged mountains. The capital of Praia is a dynamic city that attracts immigrants from the rest of Cape Verde and the African continent. Explore Praia’s vibrant culture on a city tour. Visit the museums and buildings around the Plateau, which displays artifacts recovered from the islands’ shipwrecks. Stop by viewpoints, the local market, and more.
Day 5: Volcanic Fogo
Discover a landscape of lava, craters, and calderas. Today's expedition day takes you to Fogo, an island dominated by a cone-shaped active volcano. Centuries of eruptions, the last in 2014, have left an incredible landscape for us to explore. Enjoy a tour of São Filipe’s cobbled streets and charming historic center. Don’t miss the stunning lava fields of Chã das Caldeiras. Fogo doesn’t have any natural harbors, so we’ll only land if conditions allow us to launch our small boats (RIBs).
Day 6: Rugged Santo Antão
Nature walks and unforgettable landscapes. Santo Antão’s landscapes of peaks, gorges, and canyons have benefited from their unsuitability for agriculture. Largely untouched, this wilderness sanctuary is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. We’ll land in Porto Novo, the island’s main port, which has spectacular views across to São Vicente. Enjoy a ride around the island, which takes you on a nature tour through the island’s ribeiras. These are deep, narrow canyons with near vertical walls. Or you could take a nature walk and admire the beauty of these local spots up close. Walk along trails through mango and almond groves, punctuated by the delicious aroma of roasting coffee wafting through the villages.
Photo: Hurtigruten | Sao Vicente | Cape Verde
Day 7: A piece of the Sahara
Explore an island gem. You've now reached Cape Verde’s easternmost island, Boa Vista. You’ll be awed by the rugged beauty of the Sahara-like desert formations and landscapes of this volcanic island. The sand dunes and oases found here are in stark contrast to the other islands we visit on this cruise. Stroll the streets of the island’s capital, Sal Rei, where you can explore its history and traditions, and visit Santa Isabel Church. The Ponta do Sol nature reserve is within hiking distance of the town and a great way to enjoy the scenery.
Day 8: Bound for Guinea-Bissau
Prepare to experience the Bissagos Islands. We say goodbye to Cape Verde as our expedition cruise continues to Guinea-Bissau. As we sail, your Expedition Team will brief you on what lies ahead. Learn about the extraordinary biodiversity of this tropical region, the traditional culture of the Bijagós people, and the historical impact of Portuguese exploration and the slave trade. You can also participate in our Citizen Science projects and contribute data to important ongoing research projects. You could also brush up your photography skills with our onboard photographer to prepare for the sights to come.
Day 9-12: Bissagos expedition
Take in the nature and wildlife of this UNESCO wonder. Over the next four days, you’ll explore a maze of islands and channels, seeking out mangroves, tropical forests, savannah woodlands, and coastal lagoons. Our small boats (RIBs) will take us down the smaller channels and on-shore landings with the Expedition Team. We may also launch our kayaks. You’ll meet and learn more about the local Bijagós people, a tribal society organized in clans. Practicing a life that is in balance with nature, they hold the world around them as sacred and have retained their ancestral traditions. Local conditions will determine when and where we can land and explore, but whatever we do you can be sure you’ll experience the rich diversity of the archipelago up close.
Photo: Hurtigruten | Bissagos Islands| Guinea Bissau
Day 13: The Gambia’s tiny capital
Soak up the past and present in historic Banjul. Today, we reach The Gambia and Banjul, its tiny capital. It may be a small city, but its location at the mouth of the Gambia River means it is an important trading hub. Banjul played a role in ending the slave trade, as its garrison was used by the British Navy to uphold abolition laws. Close by is the birthplace of Kunta Kinte, the protagonist of Alex Haley’s famous book, Roots. This city is easy to explore on foot. Visit the lively Royal Albert Market and the National Museum, which contains historical documents and displays about the country’s history. Back on board, you’ll enjoy a cultural performance, introducing you to The Gambia’s music and traditions.
Day 14: Return to Dakar
End your expedition in Senegal’s colorful capital. Your expedition cruise ends in Senegal’s kaleidoscopic capital, Dakar. After you disembark MS Spitsbergen, we'll take you on an included city tour to explore this fascinating city. Listen out for the many languages of West Africa, such as Wolof, Pular, and Serer. Undoubtedly, seeing the diversity of local cultures here is a wonderful way to round off your trip. With the tour complete, you’ll be taken to a hotel for lunch and spend the rest of the day relaxing in comfort at the hotel, before transferring to the airport for your return journey home.