Christmas Expedition Cruise

Cape Verde & the Bissagos Islands


Departure date
Unknown
Duration
13 days

Verdant landscapes, coral reefs and rich culture

Swap Christmas snow and slush for 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.

What's included

Take a look at what you can look forward to on this 13-day expedition cruise.

Flights

  • Return flights in economy class from London Heathrow to Dakar including all taxes. Flights from other airports in the UK are on request

Transfers

  • Transfers from airport to ship and from hotel to airport in Dakar 

Expedition Cruise

  • 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

Onboard 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

Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings

Post-Programme in Dakar after the cruise

  • Dakar City Tour, day room at hotel in Dakar, including lunch

What's not included

  • Travel insurance

  • Luggage handling

  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners

  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Route overview

We'll help you plan where to go, when to visit and how long to stay

Delightful Dakar

Day 1

Relax at sea

Day 2

Santiago in Cape Verde

Day 3

Christmas on Boa Vista

Day 4

Christmas Day in nature

Day 5

Volcanic Fogo

Day 6

A day of discovery at sea

Day 7

Bissagos' biodiversity

Day 8-11

The Gambia's tiny capital

Day 12

Return to Dakar

Day 13

Ships on this expedition

Take a closer look at our ships typically used on this expedition

Included Programmes

It's a mixture of adventure activities for individuals of all ages