Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Arrive:||Mindelo, Cape Verde|
|Lodging:||15 nights Aboard a Deluxe 114-guest Vessel|
|Meals:||All meals on board including wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner|
|Activity:||Archaeology, Cultural Adventures, Small Ship Cruising|
Cultural explorations and walking tours
- Cape Verde's colonial towns, cobbled streets, and cafes
- Cidade Velha, the old Portuguese capital, with its rich history
- Sand dunes of Laayoune, Western Sahara
- Morocco's imperial Taroudant, past capital of the Saadian Dynasty
- Souks of Marrakesh
Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.
Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.
From the remote volcanic islands of Cape Verde, home to a melange of West African and Portuguese culture and famed musical traditions, we voyage to seldom-visited Western Sahara, with its stunning dunescapes, then to Morocco to explore the red ramparts of imperial Taroudant, once the capital of the Saadian Dynasty, and the magical oasis-city of Marrakesh, with its labyrinthine medina.
Mindelo, Cape Verde
Embark the Sea Explorer. Moor overnight.
Mindelo, Sao Vincente
Mindelo is one of the most attractive of all Cape Verde towns with its colonial buildings, cobbled streets, cafes and lively restaurants. We will go on a discovery tour of the lively markets and the secret corners of the harbor town. After a coffee break in a typical Cape Verdean bar, learn about the life of the local artists and their works by visiting the national museum of handicraft. In the afternoon, you have the chance to either relax on board or walk into town and explore the local markets further. After dinner, we will be entertained by local music and capoeira on board. Moor overnight.
Porto Novo, Sao Antao
We sail the short distance to Sao Antao over breakfast. We then have a full day on the most beautiful of the islands. Driving up the old trading route, we pass the volcanic crater called Cova, with its agricultural plantations. We enjoy panoramic views of the island here before arriving in the tiny picturesque mountain village of Fontainhas on the northern side of the island. After lunch in the seaside village of Ponta do Sol, we will take the coastal road towards the greenest valley in the archipelago, the valley of Paul, where we will enjoy a coffee break while learning about the production of sugar cane on the island. We wil also discover Grogue, the national drink of the islands, and have a taste of it at the oldest traditional Grogue distillery of the island. Drive back along the coast to the southern side of the island and our waiting ship.
Fogo and Brava
Over the next couple of days, we visit both Fogo and Brava. Fogo is an extraordinary place. Known as the Mother Island, it has its own unique character and people. It’s a volcano that rises steeply out of the Atlantic and has become an island, the summit reaching some 3000 metres. An island drive will take us through dramatically contrasting areas of fertile valleys dominated by the massive grey volcanic cone of Pico de Fogo. Later, we call at the main town of Sao Filipe, a gracious town of faded grandeur with its pretty squares and wide boulevards of colonial houses. Here we enjoy lunch and over wine, listen to local guides' stories of the eruption of 1995. Brava is often referred to as the Secret Island. It is sometimes mist shrouded and the humid conditions produce wonderful conditions for the flora. It is also one of the most mountainous of the islands, with soaring peaks and deep valleys. There will be opportunities here for walkers and a tour which will include arguably the most beautiful bay in the islands, Faja d’Agua, with its pretty nearby village. The capital of Nova Sintra, named after its namesake in Portugal, is a charming town full of color from the blooming hibiscus, coconut trees, and bougainvillea.
Praia, Sao Tiago
The island of Sao Tiago, and in particular the busy capital of Praia, has a wonderful African feel. Today we have a choice of excursion. You can choose a morning tour to Cidade Velha, the old Portuguese capital, with its rich history. See the fort and cathedral, which dominate the narrow cobbled lanes and stone houses, once the center of the slave trade. We will also enjoy a “batuco dance” performance before returning to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. Alternatively, a full-day excursion will visit Cidade Velha and then continue into the green interior, climbing the steep mountains and enjoying the colors as we climb to Rui Vaz, where we enjoy lunch of local produce in the shadow of Pico da Antonia. We will see local farms and drive past the only water dam in Cape Verde on our way back to the ship.
Spend the day on the tiny island of Maio, a peaceful iplace with vast deserted beaches. Due to winds and erosion, this relatively flat island shows little evidence of its volcanic past. Today will be a relaxing day allowing time at leisure to walk in the sand dunes and along the beach next to the capital of Vila do Maio, with its huge white Baroque church and pretty pastel painted houses. Our staff onboard will run a series of nature walks.
The island of Sal was relatively undeveloped until the mid-nineteenth century, when the salt export business was developed. This morning we will visit one of the original sites at Pedra de Lume. We will see the salt pans, learn of the salt extraction process, and even have the chance to float in the waters. Return to the vessel for lunch. This afternoon you have the chance to relax on board or join our transfer to the town of Santa Maria for a relaxing afternoon of swimming at the beaches or exploring the local shops for Cape Verdean crafts. Sal is also an important island for several species of turtles. This evening, we hope to visit one of the hatcheries of loggerhead turtles. We will learn from the volunteers of the project and hopefully see some of the hatchlings take to the water for the first time.
Relax onboard during our two days at sea en-route to West Africa.
Dakhla, Western Sahara
We arrive this morning on the African continent in Dakhla, in the far south of Western Sahara. The town occupies a long peninsula which juts out into the Atlantic. On our morning ashore, we explore the old Spanish lighthouse and prison before continuing past stunning sand dunes to the friendly town, with its white-washed houses. Here we will have time to explore the market, well off the usual tourist route. Return to the vessel for lunch and sail this afternoon.
El Marsa for Laayoune
From the port of El Marsa, we 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. Surprisingly, it makes for a really interesting afternoon as we take in the unique Spanish-Saharan architecture in the old town, visit the Roman catholic church, and see the food and artisan markets.
This morning we arrive in southern Morocco in the vast bay of Agadir. Our drive through the fertile Souss valley takes us 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, ending with a visit to the Assarag and Tamaklotte Squares. After a local lunch we return to the vessel. For those who prefer to stay in Agadir a shuttle will be set up to visit the local beaches. Sail this evening.
Safi for Marrakech
From our berth at Safi we will drive to the foot of the Atlas Mountains to the walled oasis city of Marrakech. On a guided stroll we explore the old quarter where there is an almost biblical feeling as you encounter ancient customs and come across sudden beauty. It is no wonder that it has appealed to artists through the ages. We will see the Koutoubia Minaret and the ramparts and Marjorelle gardens before enjoying a local lunch. This afternoon we have time to explore the labyrinth of streets that make up the souk and the heart of Marrakech at the Djemma el Fnaa. Return to the vessel this evening and sail tonight.
Disembark this morning.
2015 Cruise Collection Brochure
We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to New Zealand to the great rivers of Europe.
What the Trip is Like
The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. Some excursions involve a fair amount of standing and walking—often over rough ground and sometimes uphill. Mobility is essential, as small boats and tenders are occasionally used for disembarkation and re-embarkation.
Apr 7-22, 2015 Sea Explorer
Prices are for 2015
Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy
|Category E Twin||$8,515|
|Category D Twin||$9,020|
|Category C Twin||$9,525|
|Category B Twin||$10,035|
|Category A Twin||$10,370|
|Category AA Twin||$10,875|
Trip Payment Schedule*
At time of reservation: 10%
of trip cost
100 days prior to departure: Balance
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*
Minimum fee: 10% of trip cost
89-70 days prior to departure: 40% of trip cost
69-50 days prior to departure: 60% of trip cost
49-30 days prior to departure: 80% of trip cost
29-15 days prior to departure: 90% of trip cost
14 days or less: 100% of trip cost
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
With a maximum of 114 passengers accommodated in 57 spacious outside facing suites, the Sea Explorer offers suites across its five decks. Those on the lower deck have portholes, the middle two decks have a large picture window and the two top decks have patio doors leading on to a private balcony. On average the suites measure 245 sq. ft. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathrooms, large wardrobes and excellent storage. There are minifridges, telephones, satellite televisions and CD/DVD players in each suite. Suites feature queen size beds which can be configured into twins or double depending on your preference.
Trip Cost Includes:
- 15-night cruise aboard the Sea Explorer
- All meals on board including wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Shore excursions
- Noble Caledonia onboard team
- Port taxes
- Gratuities to crew and while on excursions
Trip Cost Does Not Include:
- Travel insurance
The elegant, all-suite 114-guest Sea Explorer has established itself as one of the finest expedition cruise ships in the world. Built in Italy in 1991 and refurbished in 2005, she offers exceptionally spacious and well designed suites, beautifully appointed public areas, and the highest standards of service and food. The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a lounge, bar, library with internet access, fitness room, and a single sitting dining room. There is also an onboard medical center staffed by a doctor. Outside there is a rear sun deck, where you can relax in warmer weather with shade, a bar, spa pool, and comfortable deck furniture. The Sea Explorer is outfitted with the most current navigational and communications technology as well as retractable fin stabilizers for smooth sailing. She has a crew of 72.