Morocco, Madeira & the Canary Islands (Serenissima)

Morocco, Madeira & the Canary Islands (Serenissima)

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Join us aboard the MS Serenissima in Casablanca and discover the wonders of the city before we sail to Safi for our exploration of charming Essaouira. Leaving Morocco we head out into the Atlantic bound for the ‘floating garden in the Atlantic’ of Madeira before we make our way to the Canary Islands.

Located some 700 miles off Saharan Africa, far from being a sun and fun package destination, there is much to see in this delightful Atlantic Archipelago. In fact, you do not have to stray far from the resorts to discover some marvellously varied landscapes and an absorbing, multifaceted culture. Exploring the hinterlands, back roads and villages brings you in touch with a unique side of Spanish culture, much removed from the mainland. The melting pot of Andalucian, Berber, Portuguese, Italian, French and British migration, together with los Guanches, the original inhabitants who were displaced by the Spanish conquest in the 15th century, have all left their mark, making this a unique destination.

The archipelago consists of seven main islands that are formed from the tips of a vast volcanic mountain range that lies beneath the Atlantic Ocean and we will start by visiting three of the lesser known islands, only accessible by a small ship such as the MS Serenissima: La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera where we can enjoy nature at its very best. These volcanic islands impress with their unique flora and fauna and boast rugged rocky landscapes, evergreen cloud forests, metre high ferns and bizarre-looking dragon trees. Our final call will be to Santa Cruz de Tenerife where there will be the opportunity to explore the beautiful gardens of the city and spectacular Mount Teide.

Madeira and the Canary Islands have something to offer everyone and so our itinerary has been designed to try and offer a choice of excursion at each port of call. Whether your interests lie in gardens, geology or walking, we are confident that you will find this cruise the perfect antidote to the cold and grey skies at home.

Trip Name
Morocco, Madeira & the Canary Islands (Serenissima)
Vessel Type: Small Ship Length: 87 metres Passenger Capacity: 95 Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2019 MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels. The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation. AIR-CONDITIONING The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning. DAILY PROGRAMME A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service. DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance. DISABLED FACILITIES The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift. DOCTOR A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require.  ELECTRICITY The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor. GRATUITIES Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday. INTERNET The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location. LANGUAGE All members of the crew speak English. MONEY The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted. PUBLIC AREAS • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access) • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas SNORKELLING Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach.  TELEVISION The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship. ZODIACS Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises. 


Day 1 - Day 1 London to Casablanca, Morocco.
Fly by scheduled indirect flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Serenissima and enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we moor overnight.
Day 2 - Day 2 Casablanca.
We will spend the day in Casablanca. During our morning drive we will visit the city’s most important sights, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Olive Market. The highlight of our tour however will be a visit to the Hassan II Mosque, the largest religious monument in the world after Mecca. It took 3300 traditional Moroccan artisans to create the beautiful mosaics, marble floors and the splendid wood ceilings. The mosque also has the world’s tallest minaret, soaring 200 metres above the city. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure to relax or explore independently before we sail this evening.
Day 3 - Day 3 Safi for Essaouira.
This morning we will depart the port of Safi and head along the coast to Essaouira. Founded in the 18th century, Essaouira was built to be a rival city to Agadir. Formerly known as Mogador, meaning small fortress, it was designed as a fortified town surrounded by Vauban-style ramparts and played a major role as an international trading seaport, linking Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa with Europe and the rest of the world. On our full day tour, we will see the amazing mixture of Portuguese and Berber architecture, the 16th century sea bastions built to protect the city, the 18th century Medina and in the Mellah we find the souks dedicated to gold, spices and fish. We will enjoy a seafood lunch near the beach before returning to the MS Serenissima and sailing this evening.
Day 4 - Day 4 At Sea.
Spend the day at sea as we sail to Madeira.
Day 5 - Day 5 Porto Santo, Madeira.
Today we arrive in Porto Santo. Although one of the islands constituting the archipelago of Madeira, Porto Santo and Madeira could not be more different. Whilst lush green predominates Madeira, Porto Santo is arid and the southern coast is bordered by a nine kilometre long beach of golden sand. Our morning tour will introduce us to the island and will include some beautiful vistas, a tasting of Porto Santo wine and a visit to the Christopher Columbus Museum, where he once lived. After lunch on board perhaps enjoy some time on the beach, explore the local town or the more active may join a hike to the summit of Pico do Castelo offering spectacular views of the island.
Day 6 - Days 6 & 7 Funchal.
We have a day and a half on Madeira where there will be a choice of excursions including a visit to Monte, a charming village high in the hills overlooking Funchal. We will reach Monte by cable car experiencing wonderful views along the way and visit the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens. This garden collection has been enriched with plants from all over the world and about 100,000 plant species have been planted. The garden also features a collection of cycads (encephalartos) which, because of their age, are considered living fossils. We will also plan to visit the Botanical Gardens. Situated in the grounds of a former private house, the gardens are host to a profusion of plants and flowers, from all parts of the world, which thrive in the island’s temperate climate. The active may wish to join a Levada walk. Levada are irrigation channels that were created by the Portuguese settlers in the 19th century, who painstakingly carved them out of the rock by hand. Designed to carry fresh water from the north to the drier southern regions of the island, they helped to create many of the lush landscapes that can be seen today. The walk will follow the course of ‘levadas’ for over three miles, seeing the verdant plants, mountain views and green farmland that cover Madeira. We will also dine ashore at a traditional restaurant and enjoy a performance by a local folklore group. We will sail after lunch on day seven and spend the afternoon at sea.
Day 7 - Day 8 La Palma, Canary Islands.
Arrive over lunch in La Palma which is known by locals as the ‘Beautiful Island’, and it is easy to see why. It is a simply stunning, peaceful and most importantly un-spoilt destination that has deservedly been declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve. This afternoon we drive inland to the beautiful village of El Paso and visit the Silk Museum. This is the only place in Europe where the 500-yearold tradition and processes have been preserved. From here we will continue onto the Caldera de Taburiente, a massive depression eight kilometres wide which scientists agree was a majestically tall volcanic Porto Santo mountain that collapsed on itself. Explore on foot and whilst all may seem stoic and still, the forces of erosion are hard at work and some geologists estimate that it will finally disappear in just 5000 years. Alternatively, for those who would prefer a more energetic excursion there will be a guided trek on offer through the El Pilar area; see remains of volcanic eruptions, the magnificent views of the Valley of Aridane and the crater wall that surrounds the Taburiente National Park.
Day 8 - Day 9 Puerto de la Estaca, El Hierro.
Probably the least known of the Canary Islands, and once considered to be the end of the world, El Hierro is unique and utterly captivating. On our morning island tour it will be impossible not to be entranced by the island’s slow pace and simple style; by its craggy coast, where waves hurl themselves against lava sculpted rock faces; by the pretty farmland and flower meadows of the interior; by the eerily beautiful juniper groves and by the desolate volcanic badlands that stretch out like moonscapes in the south. We will also have the opportunity to sample some of El Hierro’s excellent wine and visit the lizard house where the island’s unique giant lizards are bred; near extinction they are protected by international law. Alternatively, opt for the La Llania hiking excursion which will take us through primeval forests, along ancient cisterns and mythical witches dance floors to El Hierro’s top viewing point affording spectacular views of the western parts of the island. This afternoon will be at leisure to relax on board or wander around the local harbour.
Day 9 - Day 10 Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera.
La Gomera is a paradise of natural beauty with lush valley and awe-inspiring cliffs dotted with charming white washed villages and gives the impression of being lost in a time warp. On a full day tour we will explore the island including Garajonay National Park, home to the world’s only surviving laurel forest and visit the villages of Hermiqua, Agulo and Las Rosas before making our way to a local restaurant for lunch. Before returning to the ship experience a demonstration of Silbo Gomero, the island’s unique whistling language, and visit the magnificent rock formations of Agando. Alternatively, you may wish to join a guided morning trek through the Garajonay National Park commencing in the village of El Cedro which offers some interesting examples of Canarias architecture. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure for individual exploration.
Day 10 - Day 11 Tenerife, Canary Islands.
This morning will be dedicated to gardens. We will start with a visit to the Jardin Botanico that was founded in 1788 by Charles III of Spain. The purpose of the gardens was to create an area where the plants, shrubs and flowers brought back from the New World could acclimatise to Spanish soil. Many of the plants are the original specimens brought back for the opening of the gardens including the centrepiece, an enormous South American fig tree. In contrast to the Botanical Gardens we will then explore the Sitio Litre Garden which boasts a luscious orchid collection. After lunch on board we will drive inland, along the base of the mountain range through beautiful pine forests to the Parque Nacional del Teide. The area was declared a National Park in 1954 and includes 14 species of plant found nowhere else in the world. Geologically the park is fascinating; of the many different types of volcanic formations examples of more than 80% can be found here. Alternatively there will be a full day tour to Mount Teide on offer for the active who wish to enjoy a challenging hike, accompanied by a local guide, through this spectacular landscape.
Day 11 - Day 12 Tenerife to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for the return scheduled flight to London.
Day 12 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type


    • Discover Casablanca.
    • Explore Madeira.
    • Enjoy Canary Islands.