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Crucibles of West Africa

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04.17.24-04.30.24
SH Vega
13 Nights
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Immerse yourself in vibrant cultures, fascinating history, and breathtaking wildlife as you cruise along the West African coast. Set off from Tema, Ghana and visit colorful cities, such as Takoradi, famous for its bustling Market Circle, and Freetown, home to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Then explore the Bijagós Islands, an 88-island archipelago with lush mangroves and wooded savannas, before ending your journey in Senegal’s capital, Dakar.

Itinerary

Tema (Accra)
Day 1
Tema is a short drive from Ghana’s fast-paced capital, Accra, a city that's culturally rich, modern and historic all at once. European-built forts and Black Star Independence Square’s public monuments offer a glimpse at the past. The neighbourhood of Jamestown, a 17th-century fishing community with old colonial buildings, is its pulse with an art scene and local bites like waakye­ – rice and beans with sides – at a low-key ‘chop bar’.
Elmina
Day 2-3
A solemn reminder of the past, 15th century Elmina Castle in Ghana was a key slave trade hub, originally protecting gold trade before Dutch and British slave trade involvement. This UNESCO site exemplified the era's contradictions, with Europeans in luxurious quarters above filthy, cramped slave dungeons. The infamous Door of No Return opened to ships on the gruelling Middle Passage.
Takoradi
Day 3
The twin cities of Sekondi-Takoradi, known as Tadi, are a key commercial hub on Ghana’s deepwater port, featuring a 17th-century Dutch fort, a relaxed beachfront and Africa’s largest market offering coconuts, dried fish, and tangy jollof rice. Nearby Kakum National Park hosts an endangered Ghanaian rainforest with native wildlife, lush plant life, exotic birds, vibrant butterflies and a Canopy Walkway, suspended 100 feet above the ground.
Abidjan
Day 4
A city pulsating with energy, Abidjan, the former capital of Côte D’Ivoire, stands as a hub of creativity and innovation. The thriving arts and music scene interweaves with the cultures, cuisines and traditions that define Abidjan. Serving as a window into West Africa, the infectious tropical mood permeates the city. Abidjan's unique atmosphere, galleries and markets, along with the fascinating National Museum, make it a captivating destination.
Day at sea
Day 5
Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to our library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of our on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from our onboard professional photographers.
Monrovia
Day 6
The bustling capital of Liberia, Monrovia, was founded in the 1800s as a settlement for formerly enslaved people from North America. The National Museum is custodian to the region’s history and art. Today’s city is a mix of architectural styles, lively beaches and street markets, such as the jumbled Waterside Market, filled with colourful fabric and crafts. Liberia's Creole cuisine fuses flavours brought from West Africa to America.
Day at sea
Day 7
Days at sea are the perfect chance to relax, unwind and do whatever takes your fancy. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, trying to spot a whale from the deck, reading a chapter or two, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to the green days spent exploring on land.
Freetown
Day 8
Sierra Leone’s portside capital city occupies a major position in history as the home of formerly enslaved people from North America and Britain. Sites like Cotton Tree and the King’s Yard Gate symbolise the town’s sombre past. Freetown today is a diverse city with a rich heritage – colourful Krio architecture, hearty, rice-based cuisine and lively beaches. Nearby, the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary rescues endangered primates in a rainforest.
Day at sea
Day 9
Today as you sail, you’ll bask in the endless comforts of your ship. From the deck, marvel at the dramatic sea views. Relax with a nurturing facial treatment or massage in the spa or delve into the ship’s learning resources. Or, simply take refuge in your cabin and enjoy the opportunity to rest.
Bijagos Archipelago
Day 10-11
The remote Bijagos archipelago off Guinea-Bissau has 88 islands of mangroves, mudflats, savannahs and palm forests, protected as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. On Canhabaque island, local culture retains coming-of-age ceremonies like difuntu and fanado. The former capital Bolama, now sits abandoned, while Orango National Park’s biodiverse ecosystems include wooded savannahs and isolated villages led by matriarchal queen-priestesses.
Banjul
Day 12
At the meeting point of the Gambia River and the Atlantic, Gambia’s relaxed capital city, Banjul, sits on a little island filled with colonial buildings and vibrant markets. The 19th-century Albert Market sells souvenirs and the vibrant traditional clothing of The Gambia’s diverse ethnic groups. Locals invite visitors to their typical Gambian home or ‘compound’ and tell stories of their heritage while offering herbal tea and traditional snacks.
Dakar
Day 13-14
Fabulous museums, a thriving art scene and elegant seaside dining showcase Dakar's rich culture and forward outlook. The bustling traditional Medina quarter with its mosques, tea shops and street markets contrasts with the Senegalese capital's French-influenced architecture and cuisine. Mbalax music dominates the vibrant nightlife. Traditional crafts like woodcarvings and paintings sell at Soumbédioune market, making it the perfect souvenir stop.
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YOUR SUITE TYPE

Number of Guests:

Oceanview D4

19 m2
2
Located on Deck 4 of the ship. Light, bright and crafted from natural materials Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.

Oceanview M4

19 m2
2
Located on Deck 4. Light, bright, and crafted from natural materials, Oceanview staterooms feature 2 single beds, a bedroom and living room, and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.

Balcony D5

28 m2
2
Balcony stateroom is a Swan Hellenic guest favorite. Located on Deck 5 at the bow and aft, staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom, living room, luxurious bathroom and your own 6 m2 balcony.

Balcony M5

28 m2
2
Balcony stateroom is a Swan Hellenic guest favorite. Located on Deck 5 at the centre of the ship, staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom, living room, luxurious bathroom and your own 6 m2 balcony.

Balcony D6

28 m2
2
Balcony stateroom is a Swan Hellenic guest favorite. Located on Deck 6, staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom, living room, luxurious bathroom and your own 6 m2 panoramic balcony.

Suite

44 m2
2
Located on Deck 5 and 6 at the centre of the ship, our spacious Suites with a 12 sq.m. private balconies are a favorite with discerning guests, and those that prefer a little more space and comfort.

Premium Suite

49 m2
2
Located on Deck 6 at the aft, our Premium Suites with a 12 sq.m. private balconies are the most luxurious accommodation on board. A favorite for those who want nothing but the best.