Atlantic Islands Exploration

Lisbon, Portugal - Casablanca, Morocco

Join this island-hopping voyage, as we take you to a carefully selected collection of interesting, warm and sunny destinations. You will experience the lesser-visited parts of the Canary Islands, get to know green and lush Madeira, explore three of the remote islands of the Azores and visit two of the most charming towns of Morocco, all in one voyage.

  • Visit the volcanic islands Madeira, Azores and the Canaries
  • Enjoy discovering diverse cities and a rich variety of sights
  • See several UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Fascinating lectures and activities on land and on board

Overview

This expedition offers a mix of small cities, villages and places of special natural interest, all done in Explorer style with your Expedition team and lecturers. Through our lectures, activities and excursions you can learn more of the fascinating stories of history, architecture and culture that this part of Europe and Africa offers. We have handpicked a selection of islands that provide a fascinating look into local life. Several of the islands host UNESCO World Heritage List sites.

Black soil and lush vegetation on Volcanic islands

Starting in Lisbon, Portugal we explore Madeira, the Azores and some of the Canary Islands. These islands are all volcanic in origin, each with their own amazing nature and culture.

Spicing it up

Then we spice up the expedition as we sail to the African city of Safi. This coastal city is often referred to as the pottery capital of Morocco. Discover a truly different way of living in this scenic city. We end the expedition in Casablanca, a centre with an exotic mix of old and new.

Practical information

Price includes: 

  • Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • Wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompany activities on land and ashore.
  • Free tea and coffee

Not included: 

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Excursions and Gratuities

Related voyages

Itinerary

The itinerary

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

3 April 2017

Departs From Lisbon, Portugal
Day 1
Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal Photo: ESB Professional / Shutterstock Photo

A legendary city built on seven hills


Location: Lisbon, Portugal

As one of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon offers centuries of heritage and charm, and has been influenced by many different cultures over time. It was home to great explorers like Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Take time to explore this fascinating city before embarkation.

Lisbon´s historic districts feel like different villages as you stroll the charming streets. Visit the city’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Lisbon has a network of quaint, old-fashioned trams that lurch and screech around the narrow streets. No visit is complete without taking a ride on one of these classic, pre-war, Remodelado trams. Discover the many hidden gems of Portugal’s capital at your own pace. 

Day 2-3
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Photo: Stephanie Tubbek / Guest Photo Photo

Heading west


Location: At sea

We head west, towards the volcanic archipelago of the Azores. Spend time on deck in the sun and fresh air, or join our experts for lectures to prepare you for your upcoming visit to these remote islands.

Day 4
Ponta-Delgada,-Azores
Photo: Tony Zelenoff / Shutterstock Photo

The green island


Location: Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, Azores

Our first stop in the Azores will be in Ponta Delgada on São Miguel, known as the “green island” for its lush beauty. With a history of settlement going back to the early the early 15th century, the island has long been a center of the fishing and wine industries.  Charming Ponta Delgada is the capital of the archipelago.  

Join an optional excursion to the impressive Sete Cidades Massif, a volcanic crater and lake-filled caldera, or the lovely Lagoa das Sete Cidades (lagoon) - named one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal. 

Day 5
Pico, Azores Islands
Photo: Benjamin van der Spek / Shutterstock Photo

The black island


Location: Ilha do Pico, Azores

In clear weather, we are treated to a view of the volcanic summit of Ponta de Pico, Portugal´s highest peak at 2,351 metres, as we approach Ilha Pico. The island gets its nickname from the rich black volcanic soil, and it is this fertile land that sustains the UNESCO-designated vineyards that thrive here. The lovely landscape is perfect for hiking, walking and bird watching. 

Vila da Madalenaboasts an impressive church - Santa Maria Madalena - that dates to the 17th Century.  Learn more about this remarkable place and its people on one of our optional excursions to the UNESCO-listed landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture.

Day 6
Terceira, Azores
Photo: Roman Sulla / shutterstock Photo

The purple island


Location: Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira Island, Azores

The island of Terceira has a long history of exploration. Great Portugese explorers used UNESCO-listed Angra do Heroísmo, the island´s capital, as a base to launch their exploration of the New World.

Today, enjoy the sight of the majestic Paços do Concelho (city hall) and the formidable 16th Century fortress of São João Baptista. With the  volcanic Serra de Santa Bárbara massif looming to the west, Terceira  offers a wild and hilly scenic landscape and nature reserve.

Day 7
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Photo: Stephanie Tubbek / Guest Photo Photo

Watch for wildlife


Location: At Sea

We sail towards Madeira. Spend time out on the open decks to fully enjoy the experience of being at sea. Listen to the sound of the ocean, smell the salty air and feel the wind - and with a little bit of luck, maybe catch a glimpse of birds and mammals.

Day 8
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Photo: Karol Kozlowski Photo

Golden sands


Location: Porto Santo Island

Porto Santo can be described as one long beach with a bit of land attached. Its volcanic sand has long been held to have curative powers, drawing travellers from all over. The island´s rugged interior is perfect for beautiful walks. And there is history here, too. The island’s capital, Vila Baleira, was once home to an explorer named Cristopher Columbus.    

Day 9
Botanical Garden, Funchal, Madeira
Botanical Garden, Funchal, Madeira Photo: Miguel Garcia Saavedra / shutterstock Photo

The floating garden


Location: Funchal, Madeira

Funchal is the capital of the beautiful, tropical island of Madeira. Known as ”the floating garden” or “Pearl of the Atlantic”, Madeira has a variety of rare attractions, imposing valleys and mountains abundant with life. 

The Laurissilva Forest is a native forest from the Tertiary period. About 20 million years ago, this forest covered large areas of the south of Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. Now little remains, and in 1999 this Madeira wonder was declared a Natural World Heritage by UNESCO.    

Madeira is also criss-crossed by Levadas – “mini-canals” – an irrigation system that covers a total distance of 2,500 km, and dates back to as far as the early 16th century. Today many of them are popular walking trails. Join in on one of our excursions and experience the beauty of this tranquil island.

Funchal is a modern, cosmopolitan city with a relaxed atmosphere and sophisticated style, rich in historical heritage. Nestled in a great natural amphitheatre with a backdrop of dramatic mountains, the city centre is inviting, with cafés and shops, cobblestone lanes and interesting architecture. 

Day 10
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Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo Photo

Sailing to the Canaries


Location: At sea

Leaving Madeira, we set course for the Canary Islands.

Day 11
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Photo: RossHelen / Shutterstock Photo

Life in the shadow of a volcano


Location: Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a beautiful and lively port city, with wide avenues, lovely squares and classic modern architecture.

Dominating the island of Tenerife is the volcano El Teide, with its 3,718 m summit, the highest point on Spanish soil. Join our optional excursion to Teide National Park , which boasts eerie and beautiful volcanic landscapes. The park was recently named a World Heritage Site.

Or join our optional tour to San Cristóbal de la Laguna, the cultural centre of Tenerife. Founded in the late 15th century, San Cristóbal de La Laguna was the first non-fortified Spanish colonial town, and its plan provided the model for many colonial settlements in the Americas. The town´s layout has remained intact, and in 1999 it was declared a World Heritage Centre by UNESCO.

Day 12
San Sebastian de la gomera
Photo: Mikadun / shutterstock Photo

Island of the whistle language


Location: San Sebastian de la Gomera, Spain

We arrive at San Sebastian on La Gomera, one of the least visited of the Canary islands. This is a fascinating hidden pearl, with wild landscapes, unique flora and unique culture. 

Garajonay National Park, consisting of dense laurel forest, is often surrounded by a sea of clouds, giving the place an enchanting and magical aspect.

La Gomera is also famous for its Silbo Gomero -Gomeran whistle – a whistled register of Spanish used by the inhabitants to communicate across the deep ravines and narrow valleys that radiate through the island. The whistle “language” was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. 

Day 13
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Photo: Stephanie Tubbek / Guest Photo Photo

Towards the African coast


Location: At sea

Our last full day at sea as the Captain sets course northeast towards our next destination; Safi, on the Moroccan Atlantic coast. We invite you to join us for some information about Morocco in general and Safi in particular.

Check out our daily program for details.  

Day 14
Safi, Morocco
Photo: Anibal Trejo / Shutterstock Photo

The pottery city of Morocco


Location: Safi, Morocco

Today we reach Africa. Safi may not be quite as picturesque as the neighbouring coastal towns, but it is one of the oldest settlements in Morocco and offers an authentic insight into the day-to-day life of a Moroccan city.

Safi’s natural harbour was known to the Phoenicians and the Romans, and in the 11th century it was a port for the trans-Saharan trade between Marrakesh and Guinea, where gold, slaves and ivory were sold. In the 14th century the town became an important religious and cultural centre. In the 16th century, Safi grew wealthy from the trade in copper and sugar, and European merchants and agents flocked to the city. Today it is a modern city with around 280,000 inhabitants living in the new as well as the old town.

 

Head for the alleys of the walled and fortified medina (old town). Check out the brightly coloured traditional Safi pottery items. The bulk of Morocco’s pottery is produced here using local clay, and almost all items are made individually, by hand in the traditional way.

Day 15
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Photo: saiko3p / Shutterstock Photo

The White City


Location: Casablanca, Morocco

Our expedition ends in Casablanca, Africa. We recommend that you stay out on deck when we sail into the harbour; The Hassan II Mosque is an amazing sight. The mosque is the seventh largest in the world, and 105,000 faithful can pray here at the same time. If you have the time, you can also explore the ‘White City’. To get a true feel for this lively African city, take a walk through the narrow streets and visit the local souk (African market place).

17 April 2017

Location Casablanca, Morocco
Your ship

Our ship sailing this route

Move down the coast of Europe on board MS Midnatsol, our discovery style ship with unmatched panoramic views

Everything you need to know about a cruise with Hurtigruten

Learn more about what you can experience on board - and cruise with confidence on MS Midnatsol

Things to see and do

Articles

Learn more about the experience of sailing along the mesmerising European coast.

Extend your holiday

Getting you there

Please contact us if you wish to add on return flights and airport transfers to Lisbon and Casablanca