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Abandoned town of Kolmanskop, Namibia

African Adventure - Cape Town To Accra

23-day exploration cruise from £9,395 pp incl. flights

Special offer: Exploration Fares

Summary

Short description

Follow the trading routes of Henry the Navigator as you sail Africa's west coast from Cape Town to Ghana

Highlights

  • Begin with an included stay in Cape Town, South Africa's vibrant Mother City
  • Tour abandoned diamond-mining towns and contemplate the solemn history of the slave trade
  • Call into remote paradise islands seemingly untouched by time
  • See it all between days at sea, enjoying all the luxuries of a Silversea cruise

In Brief

  • 3 Nights Cape Town
  • 1 Night At Sea
  • 3 Nights Namibia
  • 1 Night At Sea
  • 3 Nights Angola
  • 2 Nights At Sea
  • 2 Nights São Tomé and Príncipe
  • 1 Night Cameroon
  • 1 Night At Sea
  • 1 Night Benin
  • 2 Nights Togo

About

Recommended for:
Activity adventure | All-inclusive | Exploration cruise | Natural world | Small group

The joy of expedition cruising is the rare opportunity to explore destinations that you'd otherwise never consider visiting. And this journey from Cape Town to Tema in Ghana is no exception. Along the way you'll experience contrasting cultures as you sail the Atlantic coast north from the South Africa's Mother City to Namibia, stopping to explore the austere beauty of the Skeleton Coast, the rust-red dunes of the Namib Desert beyond and Walvis Bay to spot seals, dolphins, cormorants and flamingos. Then, following the trading routes of Henry the Navigator, you'll call into the colonial ports, paradise islands and jungle-clad national parks of Africa's seldom-explored west coast, making port in Angola, São Tomé, Cameroon, Benin, Togo and, finally, Ghana.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart the UK

Arrive at the airport where included VIP lounge access will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for your overnight flight to Cape Town.

Days 2-3
Cape Town, South Africa

Arriving into the Mother City, a private transfer will bring you to the luxurious Victoria and Alfred Hotel; located in the city's trendy V&A Waterfront, it's perfectly placed to see the sights. And, there's much to choose from, with the mist-shouded summit of Table Mountain looking down on glitzy beachside neighbourhoods, world-leading restaurants, vibrant street-food markets and colourful township communities. Perhaps head to the fashionable boutiques of Kloof Street, wander the pretty cobblestone lanes of Bo-Kaap, or take a tour of Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela was kept prisoner during the years of Apartheid.

Stay: Victoria & Alfred Hotel, Cape Town, Western Cape (Superior)

Day 4
Cape Town

Checking out of your hotel, a private transfer will see you to your luxury expedition ship – Silver Cloud. The rest of the day is free to relax on board before you set sail this evening towards Namibia. Then, with the Cape of Good Hope to your starboard bow, you'll enjoy the first of your included gourmet dinners before meeting your Expedition Team – historians, ornithologists, marine biologists and anthropologists who, over the course of the following three weeks, will help bring each destination to life.

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: D

Day 5
At Sea

Spend a day at sea, relaxing poolside or indulging with a treatment at the spa. There's also a card room, a casino, a well-equipped fitness centre and a Show Lounge where live performances and feature films are shown throughout the day. Then there's the food; perhaps choose a seafood grill at the Pool Bar, tuck into an authentic Italian dish at La Terrazza, enjoy sweeping ocean views from The Restaurant, or dine in style with seasonally inspired dishes at  Le Champagne, the only Relais & Châteaux restaurant at sea.  

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Lüderitz, Namibia

Arrive into Lüderitz, a port town sandwiched between the Namib Desert and the wild Atlantic coast. It's an impressive setting, made all the more special by the collection of German art nouveau buildings that line the streets of its pretty centre. But, while a day exploring the town's bakeries, bars and restaurants might be hard to resist, the real highlight today is a trip to the abandoned diamond-mining town of Kolmanskop. A once-thriving community, fuelled by the discovery in 1908 of a large diamond in the dunes, today it's for the most part a ghost town, all but consumed by the shifting desert sands. However, a museum to its unique history has been established, and a selection of the buildings restored, which you'll explore on a tour before pausing for an oyster tasting and a glass of sparkling wine. Finally, transfer back to Lüderitz for a short walking before rejoining the ship.

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 7-8
Walvis Bay

Continue north to Walvis Bay, a pleasant town with some excellent restaurants sprinkled along a recently redeveloped esplanade. It's also the jumping off point for several natural attractions, not least a 3,000-year-old lagoon home to one of Southern Africa's largest flamingo colonies. Given its location, and the sheer breadth of activities on offer, you'll have two days to explore. Perhaps take a scenic flight inland to see the rust-red dunes of Sossusvlei from above, or visit the Namib Naukluft park to see how indigenous plant species have adapted to the harsh desert terrain before calling into a local school to meet and interact with the children. There's also a full-day shuttle service to see the Germanic architecture in nearby Swakopmund, or you might prefer to stay closer to home, taking a boat cruise to Walvis Bay's outer lagoon to watch as seals and dolphins play in the surf.

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 9
At Sea

A day onboard lends itself to more spa indulgences and swimming pool dips while informative lectures from your expedition team will prepare you for your arrival into Angola. It's also well worth heading out on deck, binoculars and camera at the ready, to watch for passing seabirds and marine mammals. 

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Namibe, Angola

Arriving into Angola, you'll make port in Namibe, a town of baroque architecture and stately churches founded by Portuguese colonialists in 1840, which you'll explore later on a guided tour. Before that, however, you'll head out into Namibe's desert backdrop in search of the welwitschia mirabilis, an endemic plant found only in this region of South Angola and the Namib Desert. Among the day's highlights is your arrival at the Lago do Arco do Carvalhao, a desert oasis framed by a magnificent rock formation, a unique display of art in nature. 

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Lobito

Half way along Angola’s coastline lies Lobito. A town long held under Portuguese rule, the city suffered severe damage during the civil war of 1975-2002. Today, Lobito is a city renewed, with Chinese and Brazilian investment leading its rehabilitation. You'll drop anchor here before embarking on today's tour, a morning jaunt south along the coast to the city of Benguela. Founded in 1617 around the Sao Filipe Fortress, the town's stone church – the first to be built in Angola – and its pretty, tree-lined gardens form the centrepiece of your visit. Then, wend your way back to Lobito, stopping to photograph the abandoned Sao Pedro Fort and the Catumbela River, whose early 20th-century steel bridge was constructed by Eiffel of Paris fame. This afternoon the ship will sail north, leaving you time for more onboard relaxation

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 12
Luanda

From its restaurant-lined oceanfront to locals hawking handmade goods at crowded public markets, there's much to see in Angola's busy capital. Riding a wave of post-civil-war optimism and fuelled by a booming oil industry, the city's skyline is fast becoming one of modern offices and sky-piercing high-rise apartments. Indeed, for the growing expat population, Luanda is ranked among the most expensive cities to live in on Earth. Yet, it's also a city rich in Portuguese heritage, a trait best seen in its impressive 16th-century Fortress of Sao Miguel de Luanda. Take in its striking blue-tile beauty and impressive weapons collection before a visit to the anthropology museum will introduce you to Angola's African routes in collections of traditional masks, paintings and sculptures. Next you'll try your hand at haggling at the lively Benfica Market before a drive through the city's 'Uptown' and 'Downtown' areas will reveal architecture both colonial and modern. 

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 13-14
At Sea

With two days at sea, you'll have ample time to explore the ship. Perhaps call in to the well-stocked library or join an ornithologist's lecture for an insight into some of the bird species you might encounter at your next ports of call. Or, simply take a stroll on deck to enjoy the solitude and splendour of the sea and as you approach, and cross, the Equator; at night you'll see the stars and constellations of the northern hemisphere sky

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 15
São Tomé

Despite an economic collapse after the Portuguese's departure in 1975, the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe – two islands separated by 87 miles of ocean and part of the same extinct volcanic range – remains an incredibly safe and welcoming slice of paradise. This morning you'll drop anchor off São Tomé as Zodiacs bring you to its palm-fringed shoreline to explore a lush interior of cascading waterfalls, forested mountains and verdant coffee plantations. Then, after a typical local lunch, you'll swap nature for culture as you take in the colonial architecture of its capital. Take in the pink and white façade of the Presidential Palace and the 16th century Cathedral de São Tomé before a stroll through the city streets brings you to a lively local market. In the evening, you'll set sail for Príncipe and Bom Bom Island.

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 16
Bom Bom Island

Continuing your journey through São Tomé and Príncipe, today's excursion take you to the small and beautifully named island of Bom Bom, just a short way of Príncipe's north coast. Spend a morning relaxing on the beach or enjoying the facilities at Bom Bom Resort before joining your onboard ornithologist or naturalist for a guided walk to explore the island's landscapes and wildlife. Alternatively, take a stroll through platain and cacao fields to watch daily life play out in Príncipe's main city, Santo Antonio, or stay at the resort on Bom Bom Island to enjoy kayaking and snorkelling in the crystal-clear sea.

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 17
Limbe, Cameroon

Another day, another country. Stepping aboard Zodiacs once more, you'll tour the town of Limbe at the foot of Mt. Cameroon. Call into the Limbe Botanical Gardens, founded by German colonialists in 1892, to learn about its importance to the introduction of crops such as coffee, cocoa, rubber, oil palm, banana, teak and sugarcane to Cameroon. Then, head to the 'Jungle Village' where a cultural presentation will showcase various dances from across the country. It's also an exclusive opportunity to meet skilled craftsmen who, by arrangement with Silversea, will be on hand to display and sell some truly unique souvenirs. Round off the day at the Limbe Wildlife Centre, home to a number of critically endangered species. Meet a number of primates, including drill monkeys and western lowland gorillas before a short lecture explains the centre's work and shares their struggles and successes in educating the local population in the importance of wildlife conservation.

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 18
At Sea

A day at sea will leave you well rested for the next leg of your adventure. Choose between wine tastings, dance classes and destination lectures as you sail on to Benin. Or, simply relax with a book and enjoy the African sunshine.

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 19
Cotonou, Benin

Dock this morning at Cotonou in Benin, known as the ‘Latin Quarter of Africa’. From here, a full-day tour will take in the town of Ouidah – the country's religious capital – before a guided walk along the 'Route des Esclaves" brings you to the shoreline where an imposing arch, adorned with intricate bas-relief carvings, memorialises those that left here on slave ships between the 16th and 19th centuries. Then, head on to Lake Nokoue whose bamboo fishing villages have perched on stilts above the water for over 200 years. Visit a floating market before a presentation by Egungun dancers introduces you to the region's unique culture. The lake is also something of a birder's paradise with whiskered terns, little egrets, yellow-billed kites and pied kingfishers among the resident species.

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 20-21
Lomé, Togo

Togo's capital Lomé – all colourful markets and frenetic, traffic-clogged streets – was once known as the 'Jewel of West Africa'. It still offers some beautiful stretches of coast, while its crops of cocoa, coffee and pine kernels are exported the world over. You'll dock here early this morning before a choice of tours takes you either to the city's colonial centre with its modern-looking independence square, or deep into Togo’s verdant hinterland where village visits and voodoo ceremonies examine a culture unchanged for centuries.

Stay: Silver Cloud (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 22-23
Tema/UK

From its humble fishing-village origins to the biggest seaport in Ghana, Tema’s industrial progress has been relentless. The neighbouring white beaches remain immaculate, however, and still play host to a rich variety of sea birds and other marine life as gannets, boobies and kingfishers feed from the cerulean waters. It's here, following a final breakfast on board, that you'll disembark Silver Cloud for a shared transfer to Ghana's capital, Accra, and your flight home, arriving the next day.

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Prices

23-day exploration cruise on board Silver Cloud (Silversea Expeditions) from £9,395 incl. flights

Departure: 25 March 2019

Vista Suite (VI): £9,395
Veranda Suite (VR): £10,995
Midship Veranda Suite (DV): £11,995
Medallion Suite (ME): £18,495
Silver Suite (SL): £19,395

Exploration Cruise Fares

Includes:

  • Flights and transfers
  • 2 nights pre-cruise accommodation
  • Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more)
  • Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac®
  • Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage
  • Personalised service with a butler for all suites and the highest crew to guest ratio in the industry
  • Fine dining even in the most remote places of the planet
  • Comfortable amenities with the largest expedition suites at sea
  • Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship
  • Free WIFI* throughout the ship
  • Onboard Gratuities
  • Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society


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