With almost 19,000 miles of coastline along the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean, Africa offers a lot to discover via cruise ship. This massive continent has everything from sand dunes to deep forests, bustling marketplaces, animal-viewing safaris, and more. With such a wide array of cultures, people, landscapes, and wildlife, a cruise can be a good way to begin to get acquainted.
Some cruise ports in northern Africa – such as Alexandria, Egypt, and Tangier, Morocco – may be included on itineraries that also visit European and Middle Eastern ports around the Mediterranean. And, some cruise ships call on one or two African ports as part of a longer regional voyage, world cruise, or repositioning cruise. But there are some Africa-only itineraries, which often sail around the southern half of the continent. Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular ports there.
At Walvis Bay, Namibia, the Namib Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean, forming pristine lagoons that are home to thousands of pink flamingos. You can take an adventurous excursion into the desert or a leisurely sail around the bay, watching seals play and snacking on fresh oysters.
Cape Town, South Africa, perches on a scenic peninsula where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Browse the shops along the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, ride a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, or join an excursion to Two Oceans Aquarium or a local winery.
The sophisticated city of Durban, South Africa, is separated from the Indian Ocean by a lovely strip of golden beach. Enjoy a daytime safari, learn about Zulu culture, or visit the local botanical gardens and spice markets.
The small volcanic island of Nosy Be which lies just off the northwest coast of Madagascar has eleven crater lakes. There’s also an array of unusual wildlife, including black lemurs and frogs smaller than a dime. The Lokobe Nature Reserve, numerous hiking trails, and beautiful dive sites offer plenty of outdoor adventure.
Cruise lines that call on African ports include Cunard, MSC, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, and Silversea. Some river cruise lines, such as AmaWaterways, also operate in Africa: you can spend some time viewing wildlife along the Chobe River in Botswana, or on the Zambezi River which creates the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Be sure to talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor, about all of the options for cruising in and around Africa.
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