Holland America Line will sail a grand voyage from Cape Town to Fort Lauderdale in 2022 aboard Zaandam.
The 27-night itinerary will depart Cape Town on November 23rd, 2022 and bounce up the West African coast initially, before crossing the Atlantic via Cape Verde and Puerto Rico to end the cruise in Florida. Prices start at US $4,800 per person sharing.
“This 27-day Africa cruise begins with Cape Town’s majestic Table Mountain and finishes with Ft. Lauderdale canals,” Holland America Line says of the itinerary. “Watch pink flamingoes in honey-hued Walvis Bay, paddle Abidjan’s lagoon, explore Dakar’s vibrant markets.”
This is Holland America Line’s only cruise from Cape Town for 2022, but is the first of two cruises scheduled from the city during the entirety of the November, 2022 to March, 2023 cruise season.
In March, Zuiderdam will also cruise from Cape Town, on a 35-night voyage to Amsterdam.
Zaandam’s Cape Town to Fort Lauderdal cruise will depart on November 23rd, 2022 at the beginning of the cruise season.
She’ll visit Luderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia, as well as Luanda in Angola, Takoradi in Ghana, Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, Banjul in Gambia, and Dakar in Senegal before heading out into the Atlantic to call in Mindelo in Cape Verde, and San Juan in Puerto Rico.
On December 20th, 2022, Zaandam will arrive in Fort Lauderdale, where the cruise will end.
Holland America describes Cape Town as South Africa’s answer to San Francisco, home to the 1,080-foot Table Mountain, and a rich array of restaurants, galleries, vineyards and countless beaches.
The city stretches for 70 kilometers (43 miles) from downtown to the most southerly point, Cape Point, which is genteel and all about good, healthy living and the outdoors, while The Table Bay side is known for its luxurious seaview properties and bustling nightlife.
False Bay lies behind Table Mountain and is home to quaint, cobblestoned fishing villages like Kalk Bay, as well as the city’s famous penguin colony.
But this cruise is about more than just iconic Cape Town. Additional highlights include the Bavarian architecture of Luderitz, an isolated town built on a windswept, rocky hillside beside the bay, founded by Adolf Lüderitz, a tobacco merchant from Germany.
Walvis Bay sits between the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean and is home to golden beaches, blue waters and deep-pink flamingos as well as the red-and-tan dunes of the nearby desert and the brightly painted colonial buildings of Swakopmund, just over 40 kilometers, or 24 miles, to the north.
Luanda, the capital of Angola, was founded by the Portuguese in 1576, and has struggled through decades of conflict, primarily a war of independence followed by a civil war. This is reflected in Marginal, a commercial promenade with a jumble of modern high-rises, Soviet-style blocks and colonial houses.
Highlights of Luanda include the 16th-century Fortress of São Miguel, which houses the Museum of the Armed Forces and has panoramic views. Nearby, the pink National Bank of Angola is a beautiful example of Portuguese colonial architecture, and the Agostinho Neto Mausoleum, whose 120-meter (393-foot) height dominates the skyline, contains the remains of the first president of Angola.
Takoradi in Ghana is a major port city with a dark colonial past that can be explored with a visit to the ruins of the Dutch Orange Fort. Takoradi also has wonderful restaurants, be sure to sample the local cuisine at any of the beachside resorts.
Abiijian is one of the Côte d’Ivoire’s two capitals, and boasts one of Africa’s liveliest music scenes, as well as picturesque lagoons lined with swaying palm trees. It’s coffee and cocoa plantations are also a poignant reminder of the country’s ongoing struggle to overcome the legacy of colonialism.
Banjul in Gambia is the smallest African capital in the smallest African country. Sitting on an island where the river enters the ocean, Banjul is decidedly laid-back. Among the popular sights are The Gambia National Museum, which recounts the history of the country as well as daily life for the nation’s residents, and the Abuko Nature Reserve, the country’s first national park.
Senegal’s capital, Dakar has a rich history and a thriving present. The hub is the Place de l’Indépendance, a buzzing square lined with both concrete-block and colonial buildings and from which streets with restaurants, shops and theaters radiate, while the Medina quarter, home to the Grand Mosque and markets, is an explosion of color and commotion. The streets of Île de Gorée, once a depot for the slave trade, meanwhile, are hauntingly quiet, and an hour away, the pink-tinted Lake Retba offers a respite in nature.
Mindelo’s cobblestoned streets are lined with music clubs and bars, and several lively festivals take place here throughout the year. Colorful colonial-style buildings surround the deep-blue harbor, along which you’ll find a small-scale reproduction of Lisbon’s landmark Tower of Belém.
In San Juan, passengers can take a stroll along and then past the old city walls and explore the colorful cobblestone streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Historic Site within the U.S. National Park Service. Holland America Line offers cruise excursions like El Yungue National Rainforest, or a drive to Old San Juan where passengers can enjoy the architecture, historic buildings, and shopping.
The cruise ends in Ft. Lauderdale, which is sometimes called the Venice of America because of its many canals and waterways. Passengers can get a taste of the area’s nautical lifestyle by cruising the Intracoastal Waterway on an old-fashioned paddle wheeler. Other options include hopping aboard one of the popular water taxis or Venetian gondolas that glide down the historic New River that flows right through town.
Visitors will also find world-class shopping on Las Olas Boulevard, and celebrated restaurants and culture in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District.