The leading Norwegian cruise company Hurtigurten has unveiled an African expedition cruise for 2022 aboard its Hurtigurten Expeditions subsidiary, becoming the only cruise line to do so thus far.
Hurtigurten is the only cruise line to have released an Africa-focused expedition cruise for 2022, with its ship Spitsbergen scheduled to visit West Afrca and Atlantic islands next year.
The West African itinerary is one of a range of expedition cruises for Hurtigurten’s 2022/23 cruise season, with four new countries added to the cruise line’s line-up.
Hurtigurten said the addition of its 13-day cruise from Dakar, Senegal to Cape Verde, The Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau was in response to guest demand for warm water destinations.
This comes just weeks after Hurtigurten announced it would be operating 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 22/23 seasons.
“[Next year] will be one of the most adventurous years for Hurtigruten Expeditions,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen. “We will start the year by launching our Galapagos operations in January, and at the end of the year, we will introduce our first African cruises.”
“We are very excited about expanding to new unique destinations, which complements our Caribbean and South American expedition cruises and strengthens our global position,” Lassesen added.
According to Lassesen, West Africa represents a unique opportunity for expedition cruising, taking passengers off the beaten track to exotic ports and seldom-visited locations.
“We know our guests want to explore many different parts of the globe, and our ambition is to offer the world’s most exciting destinations that can best be explored by our small ships,” she said. “With the Bissagos Islands and Cape Verde, we offer a truly unique and off-the-beaten-track destination that is perfect for an expedition adventure like no other.”
Hurtigruten Expedition’s first-ever 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, an archipelago off Guinea-Bissau.
The Bissagos Islands are home to distinctive wildlife and diverse landscapes with 88-islands populated byhippos, dolphins, crocodiles, sea turtles, manatees, and 500 species of birds.
The cruise will include four days in Cape Verde exploring the ten rugged volcanic islands that are home tocolonial churches, palatial mansions, and old forts in many of the cities and towns spread out across the archipelago.
The islands are also a birdwatcher’s haven with many migratory and endemic species crisscrossing the islands. Other wildlife includes whales, dolphins, and sea turtles.
In Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, the smallest country in mainland Africa, guests will have a full day in port, and there are a range of shore excursions on offer for Dakar, Senegal prior to boarding.
All cruises out of Dakar include land-based adventures as part of the itinerary. Before departure, guests will explore the impressive 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 charming multi-faceted city while discovering its historical moments and driving along the corniche.
Hurtigruten Expedition’s new African cruises will depart Dakar on November 27, December 9 and 21, 2022, and January 2 and 14, 2023.