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West Africa Cruise - Cape Town to Marrakech

 
32 days,Cape Town to Marrakech
XVCMDX

Learn the history of voodoo and the slave trade, visit multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites, explore bustling local markets and colonial architecture in historic West African ports, gain insight into the region's modern history, interact with our expert expedition team, wine-taste while enjoying the comfort and cuisine of the MS Expedition

Departures

There are no departure dates currently available for the rest of this season. Some tours only run during parts of the year.

Please Contact Us to inquire about dates for next season, or to discuss other tour options.

People have been exchanging customs and ideas in Western Africa as long as there have been people. Now, it’s your turn. From the MS Expedition, you’ll get the chance to explore one of Africa’s most vibrant (and curiously underexplored) regions from a hotel that goes wherever you do. A solid combination of activity and leisure, you’ll have ample time to spot rare birds and endemic wildlife with skilled naturalists, mingle in local markets, and learn about the region from our experienced expedition staff, including naturalists, historians, anthropologists, and ornithologists. While at sea, we’ll also enjoy South African wine tastings from our very own sommelier and enjoy daily lectures from experts before wrapping it all up in enchanting Marrakech. Africa by sea? We didn’t believe it was possible either.

What's Included

  • 29 nts aboard the MS Expedition
  • Airport transfers (arrival and departure)
  • Hotel accommodation in Cape Town and Marrakech (2 nts)
  • Shore excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Zodiac excursions with our expert expedition team
  • Lecture and educational programs with expedition team
  • Onboard wine tastings with David van Niekerk (vintner, High Constantia Winery, Cape Town, South Africa)
  • All meals included aboard the MS Expedition. Breakfast included at the hotel.
  • MS Expedition, Zodiac, bus.
  • 1 Expedition team member per 10 guests.
  • Twin-share hotel (2 nts), aboard the MS Expedition in quad-, triple-, twin-share cabins, or suites (all with en suite bathrooms and porthole or window) (29 nts). Please note that all cabins consist of twin-sized berths and are ocean-facing. Suites have 1 queen bed.

Alternative Trips

Map of the route for Click to enlarge
Places Visited

Itinerary

Day 1Cape Town

Welcome to Cape Town, the most cosmopolitan city on the continent and one of the most stunning urban areas on Earth! Arrival day, so there are no planned activities. Arrival transfer is included.

Day 2Cape Town(1B, 1L, 1D)

Take a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain, lunch at the Seaforth Restaurant before visiting Boulder Beach.

Day 3Cape Town/Lüderitz(1B, 1L, 1D)

Days at sea will be filled with fascinating and entertaining educational programs presented by the expert expedition team. Join new friends in the ship’s popular pub. Relax on the ship’s deck or scan the horizon with binoculars in search of seabirds and marine life.

Day 4Lüderitz/Walvis Bay(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit the small Namibian town of Lüderitz and the ghost town of Kolmanskop.

Day 5Walvis Bay/Lobito(1B, 1L, 1D)

Morning at sea may provide an opportunity to see fur seals and Cape Gannets. Upon arrival in Walvis Bay, explore the landscapes of the Namib Desert en route to a tour of the town of Swakopmund and possibly a chance to learn more about the wildlife of the estuary ecosystem.

Days 6–7Walvis Bay/Lobito(1B, 1L, 1D)

Spend two days at sea immersed in educational lecture series along with cultural art and musical workshops. Or, simply kick back to a documentary film. For those looking for entertainment into the evening, listen to live music in the Polar Pub.

Day 8Lobito/Pointe-Noire(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit to the quaint towns of Sao Felipe de Benguela in Angola.

Day 9Lobito/Pointe-Noire(1B, 1L, 1D)

Spend the day at sea.

Day 10Pointe-Noire/São Tomé(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit the Congo’s Pointe Noire, the cliffs of Diosso Gorge, the museum, and the city’s very lively market.

Day 11Pointe-Noire/São Tomé(1B, 1L, 1D)

Spend the day at sea.

Day 12São Tomé(1B, 1L, 1D)

This Portuguese colonial island nation is a tropical paradise of beaches, waterfalls, forests and friendly people. Visit the capital, São Tomé—once an important slave-trade post—and explore a nearby plantation. On a birding excursion, try to catch a glimpse of the islands’ endemic inhabitants.

Day 13São Tomé/Gulf of Guinea(1B, 1L, 1D)

Explore Príncipe via Zodiac boat.

Day 14Gulf of Guinea/Cotonou(1B, 1L, 1D)

Sit back and listen to the lecture series. Scan the horizon with binoculars, or join in on a possible wine tasting event.

Day 15Cotonou/Lomé(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit Cotonou and head to the town of Ouidah, home to voodoo and an important embarkation point for the slave trade.

Day 16Lomé/Accra(1B, 1L, 1D)

Outside of Lomé, visit an Ewe village and interact with the locals to learn about their way of life and traditions. Includes a trip to the Centre Artisanal de Kpalime, a market famous for Batik.

Day 17Accra(1B, 1D)

Enjoy an excursion from the port at Tema to the busy capital of Accra. Wildlife enthusiasts may choose to visit the Shai Game Reserve instead.

Day 18Accra/Takoradi(1B, 1L, 1D)

From the dock at the Ghanaian town of Takoradi, explore a region steeped in the sad history of the slave trade. Visit Elmira Castle and Cape Coast Castle.

Days 19–20Takoradi/Freetown(1B, 1L, 1D)

Spend time at sea.

Days 21–22Freetown(1B, 1L, 1D)

Two days to explore Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is recovering from a civil war that almost tore the country apart, but today it is a progressive African state with a great future.

Day 23Freetown/Banjul(1B, 1L, 1D)

Spend the day at sea.

Day 24Banjul/Dakar(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit Banjul, a city beloved by birdwatchers. Admire the local art, visit a distillery and take part in a cooking class.

Day 25Dakar(1B, 1L, 1D)

Explore Dakar, Senegal; a bustling and energetic West African capital.

Days 26–27Dakar/Dakhla(1B, 1L, 1D)

Two days at sea.

Day 28Dakhla(1B, 1L, 1D)

Tranquil Dakhla is where the Sahara meets the sea. Venture into the desert across the beautiful landscape to the White Dune, look for flamingoes and enjoy a gala local lunch.

Day 29Dakhla/Fuerteventura Island(1B, 1L, 1D)

Day spent at sea.

Day 30Fuerteventura Island/Agadir(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit Fuereventura, Canary Islands. This particular island is part of the newly designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Day 31Agadir/Marrakesh(1B, 1L, 1D)

Disembark the MS Expedition for the final time, in the whitewashed Moroccan seaside city of Agadir. Drive to Marrakech, a spectacular end to our journey.

Day 32Marrakesh(1B)

After breakfast, depart for the airport and flights homeward.

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