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Grand Africa Voyage/Zuiderdam
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Zuiderdam

Grand Africa Voyage - 73 night cruise



Cruise only from €11,394

Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.


Description

Highlights

Gratuities

Dates and Prices

First of our Vista-class ships, Zuiderdam boasts classic nautical lines and finishes, modern amenities and a spectacular art and antique collection. While on board, explore the world's wonders through BBC Earth Experiences. Enjoy regional cooking demonstrations and food and wine tastings with EXC Port to Table. Relax with a rejuvenating treatment at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon. Enjoy the wide array of delectable cuisines in our restaurants.

The Zuiderdam features 68% balcony staterooms and a range of dining, entertainment and enrichment amenities that appeal to guests of all ages.

Crew Appreciation is a daily (adjustable) amount added to your onboard account and pooled in order to recognise the many crew members in Dining, Entertainment, Housekeeping, Guest Services, Galley and Onboard Revenue and Entertainment areas throughout our fleet who contribute to the guest experience.?

The daily Crew Appreciation charge is $15.50 per guest per day for non-suite stateroom guests and $17.00 per guest per day for suite guests. The charges are subject to change without notice.

The Crew Appreciation Charge is paid to Holland America Line crew members and represents an important part of their compensation. An 18% Service Charge is automatically applied to all Beverage Purchases, Bar Retail Items, Specialty Restaurant Cover Charges, all For Purchase A La Carte Menu Items, and all Spa & Salon services. Local Sales Taxes Applied where required.

Date Time Price * Booking
10 October 2023 16:00 €11,394 Call us to book

* Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.


Itinerary*


Day 1 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

Like many southeast Florida neighbors, Fort Lauderdale has long been revitalizing. In a state where gaudy tourist zones often stand aloof from workaday downtowns, Fort Lauderdale exhibits consistency at both ends of the 2-mile Las Olas corridor. The sparkling look results from upgrades both downtown and on the beachfront. Matching the downtown's innovative arts district, cafés, and boutiques is an equally inventive beach area, with hotels, cafés, and shops facing an undeveloped shoreline, and new resort-style hotels replacing faded icons of yesteryear. Despite wariness of pretentious overdevelopment, city leaders have allowed a striking number of glittering high-rises. Nostalgic locals and frequent visitors fret over the diminishing vision of sailboats bobbing in waters near downtown; however, Fort Lauderdale remains the yachting capital of the world, and the water toys don't seem to be going anywhere.

Days 2-8  Cruising

Day 9 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Formed by a volcanic eruption, Madeira lies in the Gulf Stream, about 500 miles due west of Casablanca. Discovered by Portuguese explorer João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419, this beautiful island became part of Portugal's vast empire and was named for the dense forest which cloaked it - 'Madeira' means 'wood' in Portuguese. Sugar plantations first brought wealth here, and when King Charles II of England granted an exclusive franchise to sell wine to England and its colonies, many British emigrants were drawn to the capital, Funchal. Today's travellers come to Madeira for the varied and luxuriant scenery, from mountain slopes covered with vines to picturesque villages and a profusion of wild flowers. The natural beauty of the island has earned it many pseudonyms such as ‘The Floating Garden of the Atlantic', 'The Island of Eternal Springtime' and ‘God's Botanical Gardens' and our selection of excursions aim to show you why.

Day 10 Arrecife, Lanzarote, Spain

A volcanic island designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Lanzarote's dramatic landscapes were shaped by an explosive past. Today, its pretty beaches and virtual absence of rain together with duty-free shopping make the island an extremely desirable destination. The main port and capital, Arrecife, is a pleasant town with a modern seafront and colourful gardens. Outside the capital there is plenty to explore, from the dazzling white salt flats of Janubio and the rugged terrain of Fire Mountain to the eerie caves of Los Verdes and an array of unspoilt fishing villages scattered around the coast. The island is home to a great selection of restaurants and local specialities including garbanzos compuestos – a chickpea stew; papas arrugadas – potatoes with carrots, peas, ham and green pepper; and of course, plenty of fresh seafood. Please note that those planning to participate in one of the shore excursions from this port may need to take an early lunch on board ship to suit the excursion schedules.

Day 11 Agadir, Morocco

Shaped by the Atlas Mountains on one side, Agadir is framed on the other by a magnificent crescent-shaped beach. While little is known of the city's origins, the Portuguese created a fortress here at the end of the 15th century, naming it Santa Cruz de Ghir. Freed from Portugal's occupation by the Saadians in 1540, Agadir grew into a colourful and prosperous port and became newsworthy in 1911 when a German gunboat, the Panther, sailed into the bay as a protest against the division of North Africa between the Spanish and French. Morocco gained independence from the French in 1956, an event which was closely followed in Agadir by the tragic earthquake of 1960. The city, which has been rebuilt to represent the ‘new nation', is blessed by fine sandy beaches overlooked by luxurious hotels and a great selection of cafés and restaurants. Please note that vendors in the souks can be very persistent and eager to make a sale.

Day 12 Casablanca, Morocco

The original settlement formed on the site of Casablanca by the Berbers became the kingdom of Anfa, and during the 15th century harboured pirates who raided the Portuguese coast. In retaliation for the attacks, the Portuguese destroyed Anfa and founded the town they called Casa Branca (white house). They remained here until an earthquake in 1755 and the town was subsequently rebuilt by Mohammed ben Abdallah, whose legacy of mosques and houses can still be seen in the old Medina. Casablanca acquired its present-day name when the Spanish obtained special port privileges in 1781. The French landed here in 1907, later establishing a protectorate and modelling the town on the port of Marseilles. Today Casablanca is Morocco's largest city, its most significant port and the centre of commerce and industry. The city is a vibrant fusion of European, African and Arabian influences and its French colonial architecture and art deco buildings seamlessly blend in with the busy, colourful markets. Please note that vendors in the souks can be very persistent and eager to make a sale.

Days 13-14  Cruising

Day 15 La Goulette, Tunisia

Day 16  Cruising

Day 17 Khania, Greece

The second-largest city in Crete and capital of the Homonym Prefecture, Chania is located in Minoan Kidonia at the end of the Homonym Gulf between the Akrotiri and Onicha peninsulas. Chania City is divided into two parts; the Old Town, which is comprised of several connected districts built around the old Venetian Harbour, and New Town, a larger, more modern city whose centre is situated next to, and south of, the Old Town. The Old Town is home to Venetian buildings and Turkish elements that combine to create a unique architectural style, and is considered to be the most beautiful urban district on Crete. It was once surrounded by old Venetian fortifications that separated it from the New Town; however, only the eastern and western parts remain today. Due to its compact size, Skiathos can be easily explored in just a single day.

Day 18  Cruising

Day 19 Limassol, Cyprus

A major commercial port, cruise ship port of call, and wine-making center on the south coast, Limassol, 75 km (47 miles) from Nicosia, is a bustling, cosmopolitan town, with some of the liveliest nightlife on the island. Luxury hotels, apartments, and guesthouses stretch along 12 km (7 miles) of seafront, with the most luxurious ones just to the north of town. In the center, the elegant, modern shops of Makarios Avenue (where you'll mainly find clothes and shoes) contrast with those of pedestrian-only Agiou Andreou in the old part of town, where local handicrafts such as lace, embroidery, and basketware prevail; make sure you avoid shopping on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, when many shops close at 2 pm. A luxurious marina that will hold 650 yachts as well as house apartments, shops, and restaurants should further boost the town's lively appeal.

Days 20-21  Cruising

Day 22 Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

The port and town of Sharm-el-Sheikh lies near the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula where the Straits of Tiran meet the Gulf of Aqaba. With its strategic position, the Sinai posed a desirable target for various rulers over the centuries. In recent times, the last battle for the Sinai was fought between Egypt and Israel from 1967 to 1979, ending with a peace treaty signed in Washington, D.C. Since the withdrawal of the Israelis, more and more Egyptians have settled in the Sinai, taking advantage of the booming tourist trade. However, vast interior regions are still sparsely populated. Many Bedouins have been affected by the advent of the 21st century, which is rapidly changing their age-old customs and nomadic lifestyle. As tourism and hotel projects continue to spring up along the Sinai coast, contact with Bedouins not involved in tourism is becoming increasingly rare. Once their nomadic life kept them on the move with their tents; today many Bedouins cultivate grain, vegetables and dates in addition to catering to the tourists. Sharm-el-Sheikh was initially developed by the Israelis during the Sinai occupation. Na'ama Bay, a short drive from the port, has grown from virtually nothing into a sizeable resort since the early 1980s. Between the two towns, a string of hotels line a once-untouched coastline. Resort hotels offer great opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Glass bottom boat trips are available for those preferring to view the exotic marine life of the Red Sea without getting their feet wet.

Day 23 Aqaba, Jordan

The resort town of Aqaba, on the Red Sea at the southern end of Jordan, is a popular spot for divers with some of the best coral reefs in the world. Snorkeling and other water sports are popular, and it's easy to hire a boat for a day or half-day, including lunch.Aqaba has become quite a bustling destination, with several large luxury hotels and a large shopping area. There are many jewelry stores selling pearls, gem stones, and gold and silver jewelry. It's worth noting that although it's an international beach resort, Aqaba is quite conservative—certainly much more so than Amman—and North Americans tend to be more comfortable at the private hotel beaches.

Day 24 Aqaba, Jordan

The resort town of Aqaba, on the Red Sea at the southern end of Jordan, is a popular spot for divers with some of the best coral reefs in the world. Snorkeling and other water sports are popular, and it's easy to hire a boat for a day or half-day, including lunch.Aqaba has become quite a bustling destination, with several large luxury hotels and a large shopping area. There are many jewelry stores selling pearls, gem stones, and gold and silver jewelry. It's worth noting that although it's an international beach resort, Aqaba is quite conservative—certainly much more so than Amman—and North Americans tend to be more comfortable at the private hotel beaches.

Day 25 Safaga, Egypt

Port Safago has been undergoing a transformation, slowly metamorphosing into a holiday rsort. Like other cities on the Red Sea, the commercial port town sits close to great offshore dive sites. Unlike others, however, tourist development hasn't taken off in a meaningful way. But if the mass tourism in Hurghada is a turnoff, Safaga offers a small-scale and much more low-key alternative, though the best dive sites can still be seen on a day trip from Hurghada. Safaga is also the closest beach resort to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, which lies 200 km (124 mi) to the southwest; when cruise ships offer land excursions to Luxor, they often do so through Safaga.

Days 26-31  Cruising

Day 32 Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles

Day 33 Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles

Days 34-35  Cruising

Day 36 Zanzibar, Tanzania

This ancient isle once ruled by sultans and slave traders served as the stepping stone into the African continent for missionaries and explorers. Today it attracts visitors intent on discovering sandy beaches, pristine rain forests, or colorful coral reefs. Once known as the Spice Island for its export of cloves, Zanzibar has become one of the most exotic flavors in travel, better than Bali or Mali when it comes to beauty that'll make your jaw drop.Separated from the mainland by a channel only 35 km (22 miles) wide, and only 6 degrees south of the equator, this tiny archipelago—the name Zanzibar also includes the islands of Unguja (the main island) and Pemba—in the Indian Ocean was the launching base for a romantic era of expeditions into Africa. Sir Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke used it as their base when searching for the source of the Nile. It was in Zanzibar where journalist Henry Morton Stanley, perched in an upstairs room overlooking the Stone Town harbor, began his search for David Livingstone.The first ships to enter the archipelago's harbors are believed to have sailed in around 600 BC. Since then, every great navy in the Eastern Hemisphere has dropped anchor here at one time or another. But it was Arab traders who left an indelible mark. Minarets punctuate the skyline of Stone Town, where more than 90% of the residents are Muslim. In the harbor you'll see dhows, the Arabian boats with triangular sails. Islamic women covered by black boubou veils scurry down alleyways so narrow their outstretched arms could touch buildings on both sides. Stone Town received its odd name because most of its buildings were made of limestone and coral, which means exposure to salty air has eroded many foundations.The first Europeans who arrived here were the Portuguese in the 15th century, and thus began a reign of exploitation. As far inland as Lake Tanganyika, slave traders captured the residents or bartered for them from their own chiefs, then forced the newly enslaved to march toward the Indian Ocean carrying loads of ivory tusks. Once at the shore they were shackled together while waiting for dhows to collect them at Bagamoyo, a place whose name means, "here I leave my heart." Although it's estimated that 50,000 slaves passed through the Zanzibar slave market each year during the 19th century, many more died en route.Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged in 1964 to create Tanzania, but the honeymoon was brief. Zanzibar's relationship with the mainland remains uncertain as calls for independence continue. "Bismillah, will you let him go," a lyric from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," has become a rebel chant for Zanzibar to break from Tanzania.Zanzibar Island, locally known as Unguja, has amazing beaches and resorts, decent dive spots, acres of spice plantations, the Jozani Forest Reserve, and Stone Town. Plus, it takes little more than an hour to fly there. It's a popular spot to head post-safari.Stone Town, the archipelago's major metropolis, is a maze of narrow streets lined with houses featuring magnificently carved doors studded with brass. There are 51 mosques, 6 Hindu temples, and 2 Christian churches. And though it can rightly be called a city, much of the western part of the larger island is a slumbering paradise where cloves, as well as rice and coconuts, still grow.Although the main island of Unguja feels untouched by the rest of the world, the nearby islands of Pemba and Mnemba offer retreats that are even more remote. For many years Arabs referred to Pemba as Al Khudra, or the Green Island, and indeed it still is, with forests of king palms, mangos, and banana trees. The 65-km-long (40-mile-long) island is less famous than Unguja except among scuba divers, who enjoy the coral gardens with colorful sponges and huge fans. Archaeology buffs are also discovering Pemba, where sites from the 9th to the 15th century have been unearthed. At Mtambwe Mkuu coins bearing the heads of sultans were discovered. Ruins along the coast include ancient mosques and tombs. In the 1930s Pemba was famous for its sorcerers, attracting disciples of the black arts from as far away as Haiti. Witchcraft is still practiced, and, oddly, so is bullfighting. Introduced by the Portuguese in the 17th century, the sport has been improved by locals, who rewrote the ending. After enduring the ritual teasing by the matador's cape, the bull is draped with flowers and paraded around the village.Beyond Pemba, smaller islands in the Zanzibar Archipelago range from mere sandbanks to Changu, once a prison island and now home to the giant Aldabra tortoise, Chumbe Island, and Mnemba, a private retreat for guests who pay hundreds of dollars per day to get away from it all.

Day 37 Zanzibar, Tanzania

This ancient isle once ruled by sultans and slave traders served as the stepping stone into the African continent for missionaries and explorers. Today it attracts visitors intent on discovering sandy beaches, pristine rain forests, or colorful coral reefs. Once known as the Spice Island for its export of cloves, Zanzibar has become one of the most exotic flavors in travel, better than Bali or Mali when it comes to beauty that'll make your jaw drop.Separated from the mainland by a channel only 35 km (22 miles) wide, and only 6 degrees south of the equator, this tiny archipelago—the name Zanzibar also includes the islands of Unguja (the main island) and Pemba—in the Indian Ocean was the launching base for a romantic era of expeditions into Africa. Sir Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke used it as their base when searching for the source of the Nile. It was in Zanzibar where journalist Henry Morton Stanley, perched in an upstairs room overlooking the Stone Town harbor, began his search for David Livingstone.The first ships to enter the archipelago's harbors are believed to have sailed in around 600 BC. Since then, every great navy in the Eastern Hemisphere has dropped anchor here at one time or another. But it was Arab traders who left an indelible mark. Minarets punctuate the skyline of Stone Town, where more than 90% of the residents are Muslim. In the harbor you'll see dhows, the Arabian boats with triangular sails. Islamic women covered by black boubou veils scurry down alleyways so narrow their outstretched arms could touch buildings on both sides. Stone Town received its odd name because most of its buildings were made of limestone and coral, which means exposure to salty air has eroded many foundations.The first Europeans who arrived here were the Portuguese in the 15th century, and thus began a reign of exploitation. As far inland as Lake Tanganyika, slave traders captured the residents or bartered for them from their own chiefs, then forced the newly enslaved to march toward the Indian Ocean carrying loads of ivory tusks. Once at the shore they were shackled together while waiting for dhows to collect them at Bagamoyo, a place whose name means, "here I leave my heart." Although it's estimated that 50,000 slaves passed through the Zanzibar slave market each year during the 19th century, many more died en route.Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged in 1964 to create Tanzania, but the honeymoon was brief. Zanzibar's relationship with the mainland remains uncertain as calls for independence continue. "Bismillah, will you let him go," a lyric from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," has become a rebel chant for Zanzibar to break from Tanzania.Zanzibar Island, locally known as Unguja, has amazing beaches and resorts, decent dive spots, acres of spice plantations, the Jozani Forest Reserve, and Stone Town. Plus, it takes little more than an hour to fly there. It's a popular spot to head post-safari.Stone Town, the archipelago's major metropolis, is a maze of narrow streets lined with houses featuring magnificently carved doors studded with brass. There are 51 mosques, 6 Hindu temples, and 2 Christian churches. And though it can rightly be called a city, much of the western part of the larger island is a slumbering paradise where cloves, as well as rice and coconuts, still grow.Although the main island of Unguja feels untouched by the rest of the world, the nearby islands of Pemba and Mnemba offer retreats that are even more remote. For many years Arabs referred to Pemba as Al Khudra, or the Green Island, and indeed it still is, with forests of king palms, mangos, and banana trees. The 65-km-long (40-mile-long) island is less famous than Unguja except among scuba divers, who enjoy the coral gardens with colorful sponges and huge fans. Archaeology buffs are also discovering Pemba, where sites from the 9th to the 15th century have been unearthed. At Mtambwe Mkuu coins bearing the heads of sultans were discovered. Ruins along the coast include ancient mosques and tombs. In the 1930s Pemba was famous for its sorcerers, attracting disciples of the black arts from as far away as Haiti. Witchcraft is still practiced, and, oddly, so is bullfighting. Introduced by the Portuguese in the 17th century, the sport has been improved by locals, who rewrote the ending. After enduring the ritual teasing by the matador's cape, the bull is draped with flowers and paraded around the village.Beyond Pemba, smaller islands in the Zanzibar Archipelago range from mere sandbanks to Changu, once a prison island and now home to the giant Aldabra tortoise, Chumbe Island, and Mnemba, a private retreat for guests who pay hundreds of dollars per day to get away from it all.

Day 38  Cruising

Day 39 Mamoudzou, Mayotte

Sitting adrift between Mozambique and exotic Madagascar is a tiny slice of France, in the form of stunning Mayotte island. This French overseas territory bathes in glorious sunshine for much of the year, and boasts pretty white coves and quiet, isolated beaches. Even the island capital, Mamoudzou, leads an uncomplicated, un-hassled existence. Visit to enjoy evocative tastes of the ocean, in the form of seared scallops and filleted fish, plucked fresh from the waves just hours earlier.

Day 40 Nosy Bé, Madagascar

Nosy Bé, meaning Big Island in the Malagasy language, lies just a stone's throw off Madagascar's northwest coast. It is a remote and exotic destination. With its deserted beaches, rustic hotels and unhurried pace, it attracts travellers looking for a laid-back vacation. The fertile island is the centre for the production of perfume essence from the ylang-ylang trees. The heady scent of their flowers gave Nosy Bé the name "Perfumed Isle." Other local products include sugar cane, coffee, vanilla and pepper; they are grown for export in large plantations. Hellville, the island's main town and port, is situated in a sheltered bay. It is named after a former French governor, Admiral de Hell. The town features a few old colonial buildings, a busy market, some small boutiques and tourist shops along the busy main street. At the quayside, vendors display embroidered linens, wood carvings and straw articles. Trips into the lush countryside may include a ride up to Mt. Passot. At 950 feet (285 metres), this is the highest point on the island. The view from the top offers an extensive panorama of crater lakes nestled between verdant hills. Most visitors make the boat trip to Nosy Komba. The tiny island is known for its lemur reserve. These arboreal primates, with their large eyes, soft fur and long curling tails, have lived unharmed for centuries in the forest behind Ampangorina village. The lemurs are a popular tourist attraction and a profitable source of income to the small local community.

Days 41-42  Cruising

Day 43 Maputo, Mozambique

The city of Maputo was founded towards the end of the 18th century, and is influenced by a variety of cultures including Bantu, Arabian and Portuguese. Surrounded by beautiful colonial architecture and stunning natural scenery, it is an ideal base from which to explore the region. The scars from past wars and conflict are still evident, but the city is clearly regenerating, and the original beauty and cultural attractions of the area can easily be appreciated by visitors.

Day 44 Richards Bay, South Africa

South Africa's largest harbour is located on a lagoon on the Mhlatuze River on the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal and takes its name from Admiral Sir F W Richards who sailed into the bay to deliver supplies to the troops during the Anglo/Zulu War of 1879. The Richards Bay lagoon was declared a game reserve in 1935, when conservationists objected to the growing industrialisation here. This however did nothing to halt development. Instead a compromise was agreed and a wall was built across the length of the bay to divide the lagoon. The north side became the seaport and the south remained a sanctuary for waterfowl and wildlife. The lagoon is famous for being the site where the longest crocodile ever recorded was shot by hunter John Dunn - it measured over 20 feet. The town was built on the shores of the lagoon in 1954 and although it was only a small fishing community in the 1960s, the development of the deep water harbour and railway in 1976 prompted the growth of the much larger township you see today. The bustling town is now a popular holiday destination with its unspoilt beaches at the edge of the Indian Ocean, year-round sunshine and excellent recreational facilities including surfing and fishing. It is also an excellent gateway to Zululand and the KwaZulu wildlife reserves. Richards Bay has recently undergone a major renovation that has given the town a Caribbean feel.

Days 45-46  Cruising

Day 47 Cape Town, South Africa

Sometimes referred to as the Mother City, Cape Town is the most famous port in South Africa and is influenced by many different cultures, including Dutch, British and Malay. The port was founded in 1652 by Dutch explorer Jan Van Riebeeck, and evidence of Dutch colonial rule remains throughout the region. The port is located on one of the world's most important trade routes, and is mainly a container port and handler of fresh fruit. Fishing is another vital industry, with large Asian fishing fleets using Cape Town as a logistical repair base for much of the year. The region is famous for its natural beauty, with the imposing Table Mountain and Lions Head, as well as the many nature reserves and botanical gardens such as Kirstenbosch which boasts an extensive range of indigenous plant life, including proteas and ferns. Cape Town's weather is mercurial, and can change from beautiful sunshine to dramatic thunderstorms within a short period. A local adage is that in Cape Town you can experience four seasons in one day.

Day 48 Cape Town, South Africa

Sometimes referred to as the Mother City, Cape Town is the most famous port in South Africa and is influenced by many different cultures, including Dutch, British and Malay. The port was founded in 1652 by Dutch explorer Jan Van Riebeeck, and evidence of Dutch colonial rule remains throughout the region. The port is located on one of the world's most important trade routes, and is mainly a container port and handler of fresh fruit. Fishing is another vital industry, with large Asian fishing fleets using Cape Town as a logistical repair base for much of the year. The region is famous for its natural beauty, with the imposing Table Mountain and Lions Head, as well as the many nature reserves and botanical gardens such as Kirstenbosch which boasts an extensive range of indigenous plant life, including proteas and ferns. Cape Town's weather is mercurial, and can change from beautiful sunshine to dramatic thunderstorms within a short period. A local adage is that in Cape Town you can experience four seasons in one day.

Day 49  Cruising

Day 50 Lüderitz, Namibia

The reopening of the diamond mine at Elizabeth Bay 20 years ago has brought the development of tourism and fishing back to this small 19th century village on the barren, windswept Namib Desert coast. One of Namibias oddities, it has everything you'd expect from a small German town - delicatessens, coffee shops and a Lutheran church. Here, the icy but clean South Atlantic is home to seals, penguins and other marine life and the desolate beaches support flamingoes. It was founded in 1883 when Heinrich Vogelsang purchased Angra Pequena and some of the surrounding land on behalf of Adolf Lüderitz, a Hanseat from Germany, from the local Nama chief. Lüderitz began its life as a trading post, with other activities in fishing and guano-harvesting. As a sign of Luderitz's revival, 1996 staged the first traditional German Karneval since 1960.

Day 51 Walvis Bay, Namibia

Once a whaling station, Walvis Bay provides a gateway to the extraordinary desert landscapes of Namibia and is itself an area of unusual natural beauty. The showpiece of the Walvis Bay area is the natural lagoon where you can see flamingos in their thousands at certain times of the year, along with a variety of other wading birds such as the white pelican. Further inland you will find the stunning Namib Desert, which provides an unlikely home for a diverse array of wildlife. Alternatively, you could venture into the desert of Sossusvlei, whose mountainous ochre sand dunes are said to be the highest in the world, or visit the colonial town of Swakopmund.

Days 52-53  Cruising

Day 54 Luanda, Angola

To visit Luanda is to witness the inhabitants of Angola rebuild a great city with their newly-acquired wealth. The sense of pride and confidence is overwhelming, and is demonstrated by the city's new highways and skyscrapers, and by the wildlife and habitat rehabilitation programmes being carried out by the conservation authorities. The modern city of Luanda was founded in 1575 by Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais, and soon became a centre for trade between Portugal's African colonies and Brazil. Apart from a short period of Dutch occupation, Luanda was under Portuguese rule until 1974. In the four decades since independence, Angola has become a peaceful and increasingly prosperous country, rich in diamonds and Africa's second largest oil producer: many international companies now have head offices in Luanda. Please note: Owing to the destruction caused to the country's infrastructure during the civil war that ended in 2002, Angola lost much of its ability to produce and distribute food: the resulting heavy import duties and high taxes have driven up the cost of goods and services, making Luanda one of the world's most expensive cities. The price of excursions in this port reflects the prevailing local conditions.

Days 55-57  Cruising

Day 58 Takoradi, Ghana

Ghana's fourth-largest city plays serene beaches against a bustling commercial centre. People from around the world visit the shore, both for its beauty and to enjoy the fresh seafood served right on the sands. Frantic city life awaits a short distance inland, where an economy fuelled by Ghana's oil industry is most apparent in the maze of vendors at Market Circle.

Day 59 Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Three hours south of Yamoussoukro, nestled in between the canals and waterways, lies Abidjan the economic capital of the Ivory Coast. Considered the crossroads of West Africa both economically and culturally, Abidjan benefits from clement temperatures year round, reaching average highs of around 88° Fahrenheit, or 30° Celsius. Like much of West Africa, this city has cachet and soul, and enjoys a diversity of cultures, traditions and people, notably through the French influence, but also through the steady stream of tourists that make the city both vibrant and cosmopolitan. Although its reputation was tarnished during the civil war in 2011, Abidjan held firm and has blossomed into a stunning coastal city, ripe for exploration.

Days 60-61  Cruising

Day 62 Banjul, Gambia

The tiny city of Banjul is the capital of The Gambia, a country that itself is little more than the banks of the mighty river that shares its name. Situated on St Mary's Island, where the River Gambia joins the Atlantic, Bathurst, as Banjul was previously called, was established by the British in the early nineteenth century as a naval outpost dedicated to putting a halt to the trade in human beings. In 1943, Franklin Roosevelt visited Banjul on his way to the Casablanca conference with Churchill, becoming the first serving American president to visit Africa. Today, Banjul plays host to a thriving tourist trade, thanks to its pleasant climate, and is the political centre for the oldest democracy in Africa.

Day 63 Dakar, Senegal

Dakar, set at the tip of the Cape Vert peninsula, is West Africa's westernmost point and the capital of French-speaking Senegal. Although it was not founded until 1857, it is West Africa's oldest European city and one of the most westernised. The opening of the Dakar-St Louis railway in 1885 put the town on the map; it subsequently became a French naval base and in 1904, the capital of Afrique Occidentale Française. It bears the legacy of Africa's French colonial past, especially so in the downtown Plateau area, where the architecture is redolent of southern France. Every inch a modern city, Dakar is a frenetic buzz of activity, which can be startling. Perhaps sample the popular mint tea and try your hand at bartering in the colourful craft markets for traditional embroidery, woodcarvings, metalwork and costume jewellery.

Day 64  Cruising

Day 65 Mindelo, São Vicente Island, Cape Verde

Your next stop will be Cape Verde's cultural capital, Mindelo. Get along with the locals listening to the real morna in the bars of the old town and sipping the local drink, a sugarcane spirit. This island is also known by its British and Portuguese colonial architecture and pastel-coloured houses, the municipal market and the facades of the old Governor's Palace.

Days 66-70  Cruising

Day 71 San Juan (Puerto Rico), Puerto Rico

If you associate Puerto Rico's capital with the colonial streets of Old San Juan, then you know only part of the picture. San Juan is a major metropolis, radiating out from the bay on the Atlantic Ocean that was discovered by Juan Ponce de León. More than a third of the island's nearly 4 million citizens proudly call themselves sanjuaneros. The city may be rooted in the past, but it has its eye on the future. Locals go about their business surrounded by colonial architecture and towering modern structures.By 1508 the explorer Juan Ponce de León had established a colony in an area now known as Caparra, southeast of present-day San Juan. He later moved the settlement north to a more hospitable peninsular location. In 1521, after he became the first colonial governor, Ponce de León switched the name of the island—which was then called San Juan Bautista in honor of St. John the Baptist—with that of the settlement of Puerto Rico ("rich port").Defended by the imposing Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro) and Castillo San Cristóbal, Puerto Rico's administrative and population center remained firmly in Spain's hands until 1898, when it came under U.S. control after the Spanish-American War. Centuries of Spanish rule left an indelible imprint on the city, particularly in the walled area now known as Old San Juan. The area is filled with cobblestone streets and brightly painted, colonial-era structures, and its fortifications have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Old San Juan is a monument to the past, but most of the rest of the city is planted firmly in the 21st century and draws migrants island-wide and from farther afield to jobs in its businesses and industries. The city captivates residents and visitors alike with its vibrant lifestyle as well as its balmy beaches, pulsing nightclubs, globe-spanning restaurants, and world-class museums. Once you set foot in this city, you may never want to leave.

Days 72-73  Cruising

Day 74 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

Like many southeast Florida neighbors, Fort Lauderdale has long been revitalizing. In a state where gaudy tourist zones often stand aloof from workaday downtowns, Fort Lauderdale exhibits consistency at both ends of the 2-mile Las Olas corridor. The sparkling look results from upgrades both downtown and on the beachfront. Matching the downtown's innovative arts district, cafés, and boutiques is an equally inventive beach area, with hotels, cafés, and shops facing an undeveloped shoreline, and new resort-style hotels replacing faded icons of yesteryear. Despite wariness of pretentious overdevelopment, city leaders have allowed a striking number of glittering high-rises. Nostalgic locals and frequent visitors fret over the diminishing vision of sailboats bobbing in waters near downtown; however, Fort Lauderdale remains the yachting capital of the world, and the water toys don't seem to be going anywhere.

* Itinerary is subject to change. The exact itinerary can be confirmed at the time of booking.

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