Hurtigruten Expeditions Launches African Cruises

Responding to the growing demand for more warm-water destinations, Hurtigruten Expeditions has announced new itineraries for the 2022-23 season, which will take guests to the West Coast of Africa and its archipelagos—the Bissagos Islands and Cape Verde. The multiple 13-day voyages onboard MS Spitsbergen will set sail from Dakar and visit four countries—Cape Verde, The GambiaGuinea-Bissau and Senegal.

The expansion comes on heels of the cruise line’s recent announcement of year-round expedition cruises to the Galapagos Islands starting early 2022. Besides its first-ever African expedition cruises, Hurtigruten will also introduce a series of itineraries to the Canary Islands and Madeira for the 2022-23 seasons.

The 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 Bissagos Islands will offer guests a combination of distinctive wildlife and diverse landscapes as they enjoy four days exploring the 88-island archipelago that is home to hippos, dolphins, crocodiles, sea turtles, manatees and 500 species of birds.

The ship will also spend four days on Cape Verde, which offers a different scenery compared to the Bissagos. The 10 rugged volcanic islands that make up the country boast a blend of African and Portuguese influences. Besides colonial churches, mansions and old forts spread out across the archipelago, Cape Verde is also a birdwatcher’s haven with many migratory and endemic species crisscrossing the islands. Other wildlife includes whales, dolphins and sea turtles.

MS Spitsbergen is a small expedition ship that will carry less than 200 guests and will offer a Science Center. The science program includes a wide range of "Citizen Science" research projects that guests are encouraged to participate in during their trip.

The itinerary also includes a day in Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, the smallest country in mainland Africa. All cruises out of Dakar include land-based adventures as part of the itinerary. Before departure, guests will explore the island of Gorée, where they will experience the colorful colonial houses, baobabs and palm trees and immerse in the dark history of this former slave island. A city tour of Dakar is included on the disembarkation day, where guests will experience the multi-faceted city while discovering its historical moments and driving along the corniche.

The new African cruises will depart Dakar on November 27, December 9 and 21, 2022, and January 2 and 14, 2023.

While the Canary Islands and Madeira are popular tourist destinations among European travelers, Hurtigruten Expeditions' cruises will show a different side of these islands, focusing on hiking, national parks and cultural walking tours. Wildlife includes whales, dolphins and various birds. Madeira is also home to endemic and invasive plant species, with one optional excursion allowing guests to identify and remove invasive species with a local naturalist. The five 10-day sailings to the Canary Islands and Madeira will begin November 2022 and continue till March 2023.

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