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Islands of the Atlantic Ridge: Brazil to the Azores

Islands of the Atlantic Ridge: Brazil to the Azores

From AUD $36,740

Description

The vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean is dotted with remarkable islands revered for their incredible beauty and fascinating wildlife, from little-known gems including the UNESCO-listed Fernando de Noronha and the equatorial St. Peter and Paul Rocks to legendary isles Cape Verde, the Canaries, and Madeira. A crossing from Brazil to the Azores spotlights the treasures of each, balanced with seven indulgent days at sea… perfect for rejuvenating mind, body, and spirit.

Trip Name
Islands of the Atlantic Ridge: Brazil to the Azores
Days
24
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship Passenger Capacity: 126 Length: 124 m Built: 2020 A next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. National Geographic Endurance is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. A fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Code PC5 (Category A) vessel, it is designed to navigate polar passages year-round, and safely explore unchartered waters, while providing exceptional comfort. Its patented X-BOW® is key to its design; its powerful wave-slicing action provides an extremely smooth ride in even adverse conditions, and even reduces spray on deck, for superior observation. She carries a full suite of expedition tools and offers a variety of experience-enhancing amenities. The luxury of comfort on expedition National Geographic Endurance comfortably accommodates 126 guests in 69 outside-facing cabins. Cabins are efficiently designed, with sizes range from the 140-square-foot solo cabin to the 430-square-foot category 7 suite. Fifty-three of the 69 cabins, including all 12 of the solo cabins, will feature small balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that bring in the spectacular views and ample natural light.  Comfort & convenience in every room Every cabin has two portholes, a large window or balcony, and temperature controls. Bathrooms are modern and stocked with botanically inspired hair products, soap, and shower gel, plus a hairdryer. Cabins are equipped with expedition command centers with tablets and USB/mobile device docking, TVs, Wi-Fi connections, and hair dryers. Dining: Food served aboard is fresh, local, and delicious, and sourced from suppliers who share our values of sustainable use whenever possible. Meals aboard are almost always served in the dining room, located aft of the lounge deck. When weather conditions allow, lighter fare may be served on the observation deck. There is no assigned seating and our dining room accommodates the entire expedition community in a single seating. During meals your expedition leader, naturalists, and any guest speakers aboard will join you. Public Areas: Two restaurants, a Chef’s Table for small group dining, Observation Lounge with bar, gym, Wellness area, infinity-style outdoor hot tubs, library, main lounge with full service bar, 24-hour beverage, state-of-the-art facilities for films, slideshows and presentations, and a photo workshop area; plus, an expedition base with lockers for expedition gear, and an “open bridge” for access to our captain, officers and the art of navigation. Meals: Two restaurants, featuring local, sustainable choices and unassigned seating for flexible, inclusive dining; plus a Chef’s table for intimate, small group dining. Main restaurant has 270º views, and the Observation deck restaurant features lighter, made-to-order fare.  Cabins: All cabins face outside with large windows, private facilities and climate controls. 53 cabins have balconies. Cabins are equipped with expedition command centers with tablets and USB/mobile device docking, TVs, Wi-Fi connections, and hair dryers. Expedition Tools: Zodiac landing craft, kayaks, snowshoes, cross-country skis, undersea specialist operating a remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and underwater video camera for unique access to polar marine world, hydrophone, aerial remote-controlled camera and video microscope. Special Features: A full-time doctor, undersea specialist, National Geographic photographer, Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and video chronicler, an internet cafe and laundry. Wellness: The vessel is staffed by our wellness specialists and features a glass-enclosed yoga studio, gym, treatment rooms and spa relax area, and high- and low-heat saunas with ocean views. Expedition Landing Craft: Key to our operation is our fleet of expedition landing craft, which we use to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With 8 of these boats and two loading stations used every time we disembark, we’re able to transfer guests off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. The expedition landing craft we use are 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of comfortably carrying 10-12 people. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat. Remotely Operated Vehicle: Capable of reaching 1,000 feet, far beyond the range of any Scuba diver, the ROV allows you to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. Chances are you, like many of our guests, will be struck by how surprisingly colorful undersea life is in these unlikely places. And this glimpse may fundamentally change how you view the ocean. Kayaks: National Geographic Endurance will be equipped with a fleet of kayaks large enough to ensure everyone who wants to can paddle at every opportunity. Consequently, prior kayaking experience isn’t necessary—many of our guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Our custom-designed floating platform lets us deploy kayaks from the ship, or any location we want—including far from shore. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch. Underwater camera: Our undersea specialist will dive often during your expedition, even in Alaska, with cold-water gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colorful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrive in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment. Video microscope: Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building block of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding live views of krill at 80x magnification fills the high-definition screens in the lounge with vivid detail, and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of otherwise unobservable creatures. Hydrophone: This underwater microphone is deployed to listen to the vocalizations of marine mammals. Real time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback. Few experiences in nature are as captivating as watching humpback whales feed close to the ship as their vocalizations play through the ship’s PA system. Electronic charts: An electronic chart showing the ship’s location, course, and speed is almost always on display in the lounge. Open bridge: You’ll find our captains are engaged, knowledgeable members of your expedition who are eager to share their passion with you. Venture’s open bridge features comfortable spaces to sit, enjoy the view, drink your morning coffee, or simply chat with the officers. Snorkeling gear & wetsuits: On warm weather itineraries where there will be snorkeling, you’ll select a mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuit that remain yours for the duration of the expedition. There’s no need to pack and tote your own gear, although guests who prefer to are welcome to bring their own.

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1 Salvador, Brazil
Arrive in Salvador, renowned for its exuberant atmosphere. Settle into our hotel in the historic Pelourinho district. Meet your fellow travelers at our welcome dinner and enjoy a musical performance.
Day 2 - DAY 2 Salvador / Embark Ship
This morning check out of the hotel and set off to explore the city. Salvador’s brilliantly hued center is a living museum of 17th- and 18th-century architecture. Explore the UNESCO-listed Pelourinho, or choose to hear local music, visit a sea turtle preservation site, or see a social project assisting street children. After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, embark the National Geographic Endurance.
Day 3 - DAY 3 At Sea
Enjoy the ship’s many amenities as we spend the day at sea. Soak in the infinity-style outdoor hot tubs, take in panoramic views from the rooftop observation deck, and attend talks by our onboard experts to learn of the amazing wildlife and geology that we will see on our journey.
Day 4 - DAYS 4-6 Fernando de Noronha
The Fernando de Noronha archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage site recognized for its rich marine life and large concentration of breeding tropical seabirds. Pending official permission, enjoy two days exploring its beaches, birdlife, and abundant marine life, with a special visit to the TAMAR (Tartatugas Marinhas) turtle research project. Opt to hike, swim, or snorkel in the surrounding waters or visit the remains of the 1738 Dos Remédios fortress. Go on a boat excursion to Dolphins Bay to watch spinner dolphins – their acrobatics are renowned, and there is no better place to see them than Fernando de Noronha.
Day 5 - DAY 7 Equator Crossing / St. Peter and Paul Archipelago
The day begins at sea as we make our way into the northern hemisphere. Crossing the Equator, we sail toward our destination—the St. Peter and Paul archipelago. Officially claimed by Brazil, this small outcropping of rocks along the Atlantic Ridge barely breaks the surface of the ocean. The archipelago is geologically fascinating and home to seabirds and a few researchers. Take a Zodiac cruise through the rocks to see the Earth’s mantle up close.
Day 6 - DAYS 8-9 At Sea
Fall into the relaxed pace of days at sea and choose from an array of shipboard activities, from attending a photo workshop with our National Geographic Photography Expert to enjoying a performance of live music or treating yourself to a massage or a wellness class.
Day 7 - DAYS 10-12 Cape Verde Islands
The mountainous volcanic islands of Cape Verde comprise one of the world’s smallest independent nations. Renowned for their spectacular beauty, Santo Antão boasts impressive landscapes of terraced hillsides, eucalyptus forests, and deep valleys, while the island of Fogo affords opportunity to add volcano-gazing to your life list—we will drive 5,000 feet up the volcano to sample the local wine at its source: inside the caldera!
Day 8 - DAYS 13-14 At Sea / Cross the Tropic of Cancer
Visit the ship’s Bridge as we sail northward across the Tropic of Cancer. Soak up the views from one of the observation decks and attend engaging presentations on a range of subjects, from 15th-century Portuguese and Spanish navigators to talks from our marine biologists on the amazing navigation skills of the cetaceans who travel these waters.
Day 9 - DAYS 15-17 La Palma, Canary Islands / La Gomera
Drop anchor in the azure waters of the Canary Islands, which occupies a central place in the history of Atlantic exploration. The larger island of La Palma is known as La Isla Bonita, or “the pretty island,” for its lushly forested mountain slopes set against azure waters. Enjoy a scenic drive up to Mirador de la Concepción, perched on the edge of a crater. Take in fantastic views of the town and harbor below and visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snows, with its fusion of baroque and Spanish-Moorish architecture. On the island of La Gomera, visit a house where Christopher Columbus stayed while his ships were provisioned with supplies, then consider a hike in the verdant Garajonay Nacional Park.
Day 10 - DAYS 18-19 Desertas Island / Madeira, Portugal
Start the day south of Madeira in the Desertas Archipelago. This small group of volcanic islands has been deemed a nature reserve, helping to protect both the sea and land. The area is a refuge to the Mediterranean monk seal and an array of seabirds. Sail on to enchanting Madeira, a subtropical island abloom in flora. First settled by the Portuguese in 1419, the island’s capital city of Funchal evokes a colonial time capsule, with architecture from the 15th through the 19th centuries. Explore its winding streets and culinary delights.
Day 11 - DAY 20 At Sea
Enjoy all that the National Geographic Endurance has to offer on this final day at sea as we make our way to the Azores. Spend time on deck with the expedition team as they keep watch over the horizon, searching for the marine creatures and seabirds who feed in this fertile stretch of ocean.
Day 12 - DAY 21 Santa Maria, Azores
Spend the morning with local whale experts who have centuries-worth of legacy to their surroundings and an instinct for scouting its wild inhabitants. They will guide us on our morning whale-watching. In the afternoon, we go ashore at Santa Maria, historically significant as the first landfall of Christopher Columbus on his return from the Americas in 1493. For those interested in getting some exercise, there are hiking trails that will allow us to experience the scenery and atmosphere of the island.
Day 13 - DAY 22 Faial / Pico
The Azores are a whale-watching mecca, where more than 20 different types of cetaceans can be spotted. Search for these gentle giants in the channel north of Pico and Horta islands. Once ashore on the island of Faial, head to Capelinhos to see how dramatically the landscape changed when the volcano at the western end of the island erupted in 1957. Farms and villages were covered in ash, adding an extra two square kilometers of land to the island. Later, stroll along the marina, visit the excellent scrimshaw museum, and raise a glass at Peter Café Sport, a legendary pub where sea adventurers historically dropped their mail.
Day 14 - DAYS 23-24 Ponta Delgada / Disembark Ship
Disembark in Ponta Delgada, the charming capital of the Azores. Spend the morning touring the Old Town—stopping at the impressive Museum of Carlos Machado to discover the varied history of the archipelago. Enjoy lunch before transferring to the airport and homeward flights.
Day 15 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
07-04-202430-04-2024AUD $36,740Category 1
07-04-202430-04-2024AUD $37,780Category 2
07-04-202430-04-2024AUD $46,090Category 3
07-04-202430-04-2024AUD $51,020Category 4
07-04-202430-04-2024AUD $56,690Category 5
07-04-202430-04-2024AUD $57,550Suite A Solo
07-04-202430-04-2024AUD $63,800Suite B Solo
07-04-202430-04-2024AUD $65,220Category 6
07-04-202430-04-2024AUD $72,320Category 7

Inclusions

    • Snorkel the pristine waters of Fernando de Noronha, a UNESCO-listed archipelago far off Brazil’s coast, revered for its birdlife and sea turtles
    • Navigate the St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks along the remote Atlantic Ridge where the Earth’s crust separates
    • Trek verdant forests in the stunning Cape Verde isles, and explore the mesmerizing volcano on Fogo
    • Journey to Mirador de la Concepción in the Canary Islands, and discover wildlife and Portuguese history in the Madeira Islands
    • Go whale-watching, follow scenic hiking trails, and learn of the volcanic history unique to the Azores

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