Hurtigruten’s expeditions venture, called Hurtigruten Expeditions, has added the west coast of Africa to its 2022-2023 cruising season.
The cruise line added the new route to its lineup based on guest demand for more warm-water destinations. The 13-night itinerary will include four countries: Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. The 335-passenger MS Spitsbergen will operate the cruises roundtrip from Dakar, Senegal, one of Africa’s most bustling cities.
The addition of this western Africa itinerary follow’s Hurtigruten’s recent announcement of year-round expedition cruises to the Galapagos Islands beginning in early 2022. The company will also introduce a series of voyages to the Canary Islands and Madeira for the 2022-2023 seasons.
“2022 will be one of the most adventurous years for Hurtigruten Expeditions. We will start the year by launching our Galapagos operations in January, and at the end of the year, we will introduce our first African cruises. We are very excited about expanding to new unique destinations, which complements our Caribbean and South American expedition cruises and strengthens our global position,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen.
“We know our guests want to explore many different parts of the globe, and our ambition is to offer the world’s most exciting destinations that can best be explored by our small ships. With the Bissagos Islands and Cape Verde, we offer a truly unique and off-the-beaten-track destination that is perfect for an expedition adventure like no other.”
Hurtigruten’s first-ever African adventure will depart on November 27, 2022 and will be the first in a series of expedition cruises to visit Cape Verde and the Bissagos Islands. One of the world’s most untouched destinations, the sailings will include four days in the 88-island archipelago that is home to hippos, dolphins, crocodiles, sea turtles, manatees, and 500 species of birds.
The ten rugged volcanic islands that make up the country of Cape Verde will offer distinctly different scenery. Cape Verde boasts a unique blend of African and Portuguese influences, and visitors will enjoy exploring colonial churches, mansions, and old forts across the archipelago. The islands are also a birdwatcher’s paradise with many migratory and endemic species crisscrossing the island.
The itinerary also includes a day in Banjul, the capital of The Gambia — the smallest country in mainland Africa.
As well, all cruises out of the ship’s homeport of Dakar will include land-based excursions as part of the itinerary. Before departure, travelers will explore the island of Gorée where they’ll experience the colorful colonial houses, baobabs, and palm trees, and immerse themselves in the dark history of the former slave island. On disembarkation day, a city tour of Dakar will also be included.
Hurtigruten Expeditions’ new African cruises will depart Dakar on November 27, December 9, and December 21, 2022, as well as January 2 and 14, 2023.
The cruise line will also offer five 10-night sailings to the Canary Islands and Madeira in November 2022 and January through March of 2023.