Explorations of the Heart of Africa

Our four early 2024 cultural expedition cruises along the west coast of Africa are already generating a real buzz of excitement and selling fast. Exploring from Cape Town to Dakar, they each offer powerful experiences of Africa’s unique wildlife and rich cultures, from coastal elephants to the lakeside dwellings of Benin and the pristine Bijagos Archipelago. Patrizia Iantorno, Chief Commercial Officer of Swan Hellenic, says:

We’re proud and delighted that these expert-designed African cultural expedition cruises have met with such an enthusiastic response. Combining in-depth encounters with pristine nature, extraordinary wildlife and unique cultures, they each offer exceptional experiences and two already have limited availability. So anyone inspired to join us, please book without delay to avoid disappointment.

There is already limited availability for two of our four mold-breaking cultural expedition cruises of Southwest and West Africa between March and May 2024. Those cruises have already been completed successfully in 2023 and are now refined in terms of itinerary and shore excursion offerings. As the pioneer of cultural expedition cruising, Swan Hellenic is the choice of adventurous minds across the generations seeking in-depth exploration of the Arctic, Antarctic and Rest of the World – from Brazil to the Bijagós Archipelago, Norway to Nova Scotia, Argentina to Africa, and Madagascar to the Mediterranean.

SH Vega is the second Scandi-design boutique ship in its fleet, accommodating 152 guests in 76 spacious suites and staterooms, the majority with large balconies.

The first cruise in the 2024 Africa series is Coastal Treasures of Southwest Africa, which departs Cape Town on 25 March for a 13-night voyage to Luanda that offers an astonishing range of experiences, from hot air ballooning over the Namib Special Nature Reserve desert to expeditions in Walvis Bay kayaking with the seal.

The Unspoilt Wilds of Southwest Africa cruise follows, sailing from Luanda for Tema on 4 April 2024 and touching 7 countries in 13-night. Offering encounters with Congo's and Gabon extraordinary coastal national parks wildlife, including orangutans, gorillas and elephants, together with immersive experiences of the Ganvie lake village in Benin and an authentic animist Voodoo ceremony in Togo, it should come as no surprise that this cultural expedition cruise is selling fast.

Crucibles of West Africa leaves Tema for Dakar on 17 April, taking guests on a 13-night odyssey of contrasts, from historic strongholds of the slave, gold and ivory trades to the natural paradise of the Bijagos Archipelago, often described as the Maldives of Africa but also an exceptional anthropological experience. Demand for this cultural expedition cruise has, unsurprisingly, also been exceptionally high.

Pristine Islands of West Africa concludes the series, departing from Dakar on 30 April 2024 for an 8-night exploration of its pristine islands, now a protected UNESCO biosphere reserve. Having remained largely unaffected by colonial influence, the local culture retains many traditional features, including coming-of-age ceremonies like the Difuntu for women and Fanado for men.

Offering exceptional personalisation and unrepeated itineraries, these cultural expedition cruises can be daisy-chained as desired to create one-of-a-kind voyages of exploration.

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