South of Tarfaya

South of Tarfaya

From GBP £4,495


Join us aboard the charming MS Serenissima for a journey that will take us from Spain along the coastlines of Morocco and Western Sahara to the Atlantic archipelago of the Canary Islands where we will visit some of the lesser known of these captivating islands. We begin our voyage in Seville where there will be ample time to discover the city’s many riches, including the breathtaking Alcazar Palace before we follow the Moroccan coast down to Casablanca. From here there is the opportunity to join a two day overland excursion to the incomparable desert city of Marrakech, re-joining the vessel further along the coast in Safi. The old walled city of Marrakech is an intoxicating mix of architecture, colour and aromas, a timeless gem that leaves a lasting impression.

Sailing from Agadir we sail past Cape Juby, also known as the Tarfaya Strip, a semi-desert region of Southern Morocco and Western Sahara where we will call into two little visited places along the coast and travel overland to the desert city of Laayoune. Our cruise to this region promises to be a most memorable experience and for those who enjoy visiting out of the way islands where tourists are a rarity it is a unique opportunity. We continue to the Canary Islands for our visit to La Palma and Hierro 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 voyage to this fascinating region will be particularly enjoyable as it includes some daytime sailing, allowing for time to relax on deck and attend the informative lectures by our knowledgeable guest speaker who, along with the excellent local guides will bring to life all we see.

Trip Name
South of Tarfaya
Vessel Type: Small Ship Length: 87 metres Passenger Capacity: 107 (from Dec 2018 - 95) Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2018 We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and the fact that she is is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her in top form. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment after which she will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests. 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.  PLEASE NOTE: Deck plan varies for 2019 cruises, no inside cabins.


Day 1 - Day 1 - London to Seville, Spain.
Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Serenissima and enjoy drinks and dinner as we moor overnight.
Day 2 - Day 2 - Seville.
On our morning excursion we will see one of Seville’s greatest monuments, the Alcazar with its exotic terraced garden. Built by the Moors in the 14th century, it is still used as a residence by the King of Spain. Also see the Christian Cathedral, reputed to be the largest Gothic style church in the world. Here we will find the 138 foot high central nave and fine gothic carvings in the altar. This afternoon will be at leisure for individual exploration. You may wish to explore the maze of cobble streets which was once the Jewish Quarter of the city, taking in the atmosphere of this historic town. We sail late tonight for anyone wishing to dine ashore in one of the many tapas restaurants.
Day 3 - Day 3 - Cadiz.
Spend the morning in Cadiz, a city which is located on a peninsula jutting out into a bay, and is almost entirely surrounded by water. It is the oldest surviving city in Spain and was founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC and later occupied by the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. On a guided tour we will discover the most beautiful monuments and landmarks of the city including the Mudejar-style tobacco factory, Santo Domingo Church, the Santa Catalina Fortress and finally the Cathedral of Cadiz and Diocesan Museum in the old city. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon of cruising.
Day 4 - Day 4 - Casablanca for Marrakech, Morocco.
There will be a choice of activities today. For those wishing to see Casablanca join a morning drive during which we will visit the city’s most important sights, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Olive Market. The highlight of our tour, however, is a visit to the Hassan II Mosque, the largest religious monument in the world after Mecca. It took 3,300 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 a free afternoon in the city. Alternatively you may wish to join an overnight trip to Marrakech. Leaving the MS Serenissima after breakfast we will drive inland to the “red city”. During our time in Marrakech we will see the rich monuments of this second imperial city including the Koutoubia minaret, a symbol of the city for 800 years, the Bahia palace with its lovely courtyards, late Moorish architecture and the Saadian tombs including the royal pavilion. We will have time to wander in the souks, visit the Jemaa El Fna square and the Marjorelle Gardens and enjoy some wonderful meals in local restaurants. Guests on this tour will re-join the ship in Safi on day 5.
Day 5 - Day 5 - Safi.
For those who have remained on board 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 enjoy a seafood lunch near the beach before returning to the MS Serenissima in Safi. Those who have travelled to Marrakech return to the ship this evening and once we are all back on board we will sail.
Day 6 - Day 6 - Agadir.
This morning we arrive in southern Morocco in the vast bay of Agadir. A morning tour will include time at the Kasbah, built to defend the Atlantic shoreline and offering wonderful views over the coast, and the Talborjit Mosque. After some time in the souk we will drive through the fertile Souss valley to the gold, pink and orange tinted imperial city of Taroudant, a past capital of the Saadian dynasty. Explore the medina with its souks and climb the red ramparts and end with a visit to the Assarag and Tamaklotte Squares. After a local lunch we return to the ship and sail this evening.
Day 7 - Day 7 - At Sea.
Spend the day at sea, maybe join the lecture programme or find a spot on deck.
Day 8 - Day 8 - El Marsa for Laayoune, Western Sahara.
From the port of El Marsa drive across the sand dunes to the city of Laayoune. There are not many travellers who can boast of a visit to the territory of Western Sahara. Mostly consisting of flat desert it is one of the least populated regions in the world. It makes for a really interesting morning as we take in the unique Spanish-Saharan architecture in the old town, visit the Roman catholic church, the Moulay Abdelaziz Mosque and see the food and artisan markets. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at sea.
Day 9 - Day 9 - Dakhla.
After a morning at sea we arrive after lunch at Dakhla in the far south of Western Sahara. The town occupies a long peninsula which juts out into the Atlantic and is well off the traditional tourist routes. We will drive along the lagoon, a paradise for migratory birds, before visiting a Sahraoui camp in the sand dunes. We will learn about the nomadic Sahraoui culture, partake in a tea ceremony and use the 4x4 vehicles to see the stunning views from the top of the dunes. Return to the ship and sail this evening.
Day 10 - Day 10 - At Sea.
Relax at sea as we make our way to the Canary Islands.
Day 11 - Day 11 - Tazacorte, La Palma, Canary Islands.
La Palma is known by locals as the ‘Beautiful Island’, and it is easy to see why, it is a simply stunning, peaceful and most importantly an unspoilt destination that has deservedly been declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve. This morning drive inland to the beautiful village of El Paso and visit the Silk Museum. This is the only place in Europe where the 500 year old tradition and processes have been preserved. From here we will continue onto the Caldera de Taburiente, a massive depression eight kilometers wide, scientists agree that this was a majestically tall volcanic mountain that collapsed on itself. Explore on foot and whilst all may seem stoic and still, the forces of erosion are hard at work, 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. This afternoon will be at leisure to relax on board the ship or a shuttle service will run to Los Llanos de Aridane for independent exploration; the La Palma Archaeological Museum is well worth a visit.
Day 12 - Day 12 - 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 the ship or a shuttle service will run to Valverde for independent exploration.
Day 13 - Day 13 - Tenerife to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Inside Single
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Standard Stateroom Plus Sole
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Junior Suite
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Owners Suite
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Executive Suite
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Inside Cabin
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Standard Stateroom
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Standard Single
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Standard Stateroom Plus
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Superior Stateroom
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Deluxe Stateroom
02-11-201814-11-2018GBP £0Standard Stateroom Sole


    • See one of Seville’s greatest monuments, the Alcazar with its exotic terraced garden
    • From the port of El Marsa drive across the sand dunes to the city of Laayoune. There are not many travellers who can boast of a visit to the territory of Western Sahara
    • Travel to La Palma that is known by locals as the ‘Beautiful Island’