Variety Cruises relaunch West African itineraries for first time since pandemic

Variety Cruises is relaunching its West Africa itineraries for the first time since the pandemic and opening a cultural hub in the community.

The cruise line will sail two eight-day roundtrip itineraries from either Dakar or Banzul, sailing through the Rivers of Gambia and Senegal. 

Variety Cruises is a boutique cruise brand, operating ships with a capacity of just 44 guests, giving passengers a more personal experience of a destination exploring the local culture and customs.

A woman pulls up fishing pots from the River Gambia

Guests onboard the Harmony G will have the chance to enjoy wildlife viewing along the West African coast and upstream of the Gambia River, and visit a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a birdwatcher’s paradise in Djiffere fishing village on the River Gambia National Park. 

Prices for the itineraries start at $2,690 per person and will be operated by Variety Cruises’ yacht Harmony G, a 54-metre superyacht that carries just 44 people, offering a main lounge, outdoor bar, dining room, and plenty of deck space for soaking up the sun in the tropics.

In addition to launching West Africa itineraries, Variety Cruises has also expanded the Lamin Koto School in The Gambia, which the company helped build in 2011. 

The new cultural hub, The Rose Museum( ROSE stands for Real Objects Spread Education) will provide independently driven electricity and connectivity and will serve as a community gathering place, with an open-door policy for all.

The inauguration of The Rose Museum is scheduled to take place on the sixth day of the seven-day Rivers of West Africa Cruise, December 23rd, 2023. 

Harmony G

West Africa isn’t typically as popular for cruises as some other regions, but offers unique opportunities for those looking to explore different cultures, landscapes, and experiences. 

West Africa cruises often focus on cultural immersion, offering a deep dive into the region’s rich history, including colonial heritage, slave trade landmarks, vibrant markets, and diverse wildlife.

The region does not have the same level of cruise infrastructure, or the vast array of shore excursions found in more traditional cruise destinations, but it’s a growing market for those seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures.

The luxury boutique cruise line Azamara recently announced that West Africa was one of its most trending destinations on Labour Day deals, while Swan Hellenic has also returned to the region post-pandemic.

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