The Essential Cape Verde & Bijagos – with Nat Geo

The Essential Cape Verde & Bijagos – with Nat Geo

From AUD $8,070

Description

In partnership with National Geographic Expeditions.

Board L’Austral for a fabulous expedition cruise between Praia and Dakar. This 9-day adventure will enable you to discover Cape Verde and the Bijagos, two exceptional archipelagos including wild nature, cultural heritage and encounters with the local populations.

Your cruise will start on the island of Santiago, in Praia, the Cape Verde capital, where you will have the opportunity to visit the historic centre of Ribeira Grande, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Further north, you will visit Mindelo, the cultural capital of Cape Verde, where the famous morna singer Cesaria Evora was born.

A gigantic volcanic cone emerging from the Ocean, Fogo or “volcano island” is the most unusual in the Cape Verde archipelago. With scenery of savannah and fields of sugar cane, scattered with peaceful hamlets, Fogo will offer you extraordinary panoramas.

You will discover the long white sandy beaches and the dunes of the island of Boa Vista, before heading to the Bijagos archipelago.

Located off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, this archipelago is one of the most preserved and protected on the planet. Classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, it is made up of 88 islands, most of which are uninhabited and nestling in the heart of an environment which often remains untouched by humans.

During your Zodiac® outings, you will get as close as possible to nature, between pale-sand beaches, mangrove stretching as far as the eye can see, savannah, palm trees and baobabs.

Trip Name
The Essential Cape Verde & Bijagos - with Nat Geo
Days
9
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship Length: 142 metres Passenger Capacity: 264 (200 in Antarctica) Built: 2011 This superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral has a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being. A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. Precious materials in smoothing neutral tones are brought to life with splashes of cheerful reds. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht”. Cuisine Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark. Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. The Gastronomic Restaurant, with a capacity of 268 persons, is situated on Le Liberté Deck and serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. On the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportuniny to eat outside and enjoy buffet lunch and themed dinner. Life On Board Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or games area (Wii™ consoles, etc), or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, L'Austral has been designed to meet the needs of every guest. Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, a spa in partnership with Sothys™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available for families either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting service. Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please. Fitted with the latest equipment (Kinesis Wall, running machine) and in partnership with the famous Sothys™ brand, the Beauty Centre on L'Austral welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser).

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 PRAIA
The capital of Cape Verde, Praia, is located on the southern tip of Santiago island. You can dally in the districts planted with Tamarind and Albizia trees. Above the harbour, the statue of Diogo Gomes pays homage to the man who discovered Cape Verde in 1460. A few streets away, in the old centre, the Ethnographic Museum presents the diversity of the archipelago’s cultural origins. Its historical building with transom windows is one of the city’s more unusual curiosities.
Day 2 - Day 2 MINDELO
Set on the shores of the Porto Grande bay on the north-west coast of São Vicente, Mindelo is considered to be Cape Verde's cultural capital. Here in singer Cesaria Evora's homeland, you can listen to real morna in the bars of the old town, where you can also sip the local grog, a Cape Verdian sugarcane spirit. A few streets from the elegant floating resort of Pont d'água you'll see the pastel-coloured houses and colonial buildings of the historical district. Other landmarks are the facades of the old Governor's Palace and the busy municipal market.
Day 3 - Day 3 FOGO
Lying west of Praia, the volcanic island of Fogo is Cape Verde's highest landmark. The foothills of Pico de Fogo are ideal for hiking, with an immense caldera surrounding the active crater. Trails start at the little town of Chã das Caldeiras and you can see recent lava flows and older ones sprouting with new growth. Along the rocky coastline you'll come across picturesque Mosteiros and the historic town of São Filipe, where elegant colonial houses overlook the Atlantic.
Day 4 - Day 4 BOA VISTA
Lying west of Praia, the volcanic island of Fogo is Cape Verde's highest landmark. The foothills of Pico de Fogo are ideal for hiking, with an immense caldera surrounding the active crater. Trails start at the little town of Chã das Caldeiras and you can see recent lava flows and older ones sprouting with new growth. Along the rocky coastline you'll come across picturesque Mosteiros and the historic town of São Filipe, where elegant colonial houses overlook the Atlantic.
Day 5 - Day 5 AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 6 - Days 6 - 8 CARACHE ISLAND, BIJAGOS
Throughout its unspoilt, wild landscapes, the Bissagos archipelago is an area of extraordinary biodiversity, remarkably well protected by local communities. This constellation of islands, bathed by the Atlantic, is home to extremely varied flora and fauna. In the heart of luxuriant nature, you'll enjoy Caravela and Carache Islands wild charm and its Bijago inhabitants, fascinating men and women who have adapted to and melted in with their natural environment.
Day 7 - Day 9 DAKAR
On the tip of the African continent, the buzzing capital of Senegal stretches along the narrow peninsula of Cape Verde. You may be overwhelmed by its sheer size, but Dakar will win you over with its richly diverse districts, appealing cultural scene and rich natural surroundings. In the historic centre, you'll enjoy the pell-mell of colours and tasty delights in Kermel market. A visit to the island of Gorée is deeply moving; for several hundred years this island was the largest slave trading centre on the African coast. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you are looking for pristine, unspoilt nature, the wildlife in the heart of Madeleine Islands' national park will not disappoint.
Day 8 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
30-03-202107-04-2021AUD $8,070Superior Stateroom
30-03-202107-04-2021AUD $8,760Deluxe Stateroom
30-03-202107-04-2021AUD $9,330Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
30-03-202107-04-2021AUD $9,620Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
30-03-202107-04-2021AUD $9,930Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
30-03-202107-04-2021AUD $13,610Deluxe Suite
30-03-202107-04-2021AUD $14,730Prestige Suite Deck 5
30-03-202107-04-2021AUD $15,200Prestige Suite Deck 6
30-03-202107-04-2021AUD $15,980Owner's Suite

Inclusions

    • A cruise in partnership with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert onboard.
    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: before your cruise, from Praia, Cidade Velha, the historic centre of Ribeira Grande (island of Santiago), Bijagos UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
    • Discovering the Cape Verde archipelago and the cultural mix that exists there due to Portuguese, African and Mediterranean influences.
    • The city of Mindelo and its elegant buildings with British and Portuguese colonial influences.
    • The sugar cane plantations and savannah on Fogo, the volcano island.
    • The beautiful fine-sand beaches on Boa Vista.
    • The diversity of the fauna in the Bijagos.
    • Visit of traditional villages and encounters with the Bidyogo people who have ancestral traditions.
    • The mangrove swamp, covering more than a third of the emerged part of the Bissagos archipelago.

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