9 days with Ponant Rating:
Day 1 – DAKAR
Embarkation from 16H00 to 17H00. Departure at 18H00.
On the tip of the African continent, the buzzing capital of Senegal stretches along the narrow peninsula of Cape Verde. You may be overwhelmed by its sheer size, but Dakar will win you over with its richly diverse districts, appealing cultural scene and rich natural surroundings. In the historic centre, you'll enjoy the pell-mell of colours and tasty delights in Kermel market. A visit to the island of Gorée is deeply moving; for several hundred years this island was the largest slave trading centre on the African coast. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you are looking for pristine, unspoilt nature, the wildlife in the heart of Madeleine Islands' national park will not disappoint.
Day 2 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 3 – SÃO NICOLAU
Located south-west of São Vicente, the island of São Nicolau is a dramatic sight with steep, richly forested mountains that reach their peak at Mt Gordo. Near the summit, the island's attractive capital, Ribeira Brava, nestles in a deep green valley. Not far off, you can hike along the mountain paths of Fajã, where you'll see rare and extremely old dragon trees growing naturally on the high plateaux. Coastal landmarks include the Blue Hole, peaceful Tarrafal beach and the picturesque fishing village of Preguiça.
Day 4 – MINDELO
Set on the shores of the Porto Grande bay on the north-west coast of São Vicente, Mindelo is considered to be Cape Verde's cultural capital. Here in singer Cesaria Evora's homeland, you can listen to real morna in the bars of the old town, where you can also sip the local grog, a Cape Verdian sugarcane spirit. A few streets from the elegant floating resort of Pont d'água you'll see the pastel-coloured houses and colonial buildings of the historical district. Other landmarks are the facades of the old Governor's Palace and the busy municipal market.
Day 5 – PORTO NOVO
The coastal town of Porto Novo is located on the south-east coast of Santo Antão Island. Near the jetty, colourfully painted boats lie on the sand and the waterfront boasts beautiful vantage points overlooking the Atlantic and the nearby island of São Vicente. In the town centre, built at the foot of steep escarpments, you'll discover the low-profile, painted buildings that are typical of traditional Cape Verde architecture. And you'll definitely be tempted to sample one of the many desserts made from locally grown fruit, such as a banana tart or pawpaw flan.
Day 6 – FOGO
Lying west of Praia, the volcanic island of Fogo is Cape Verde's highest landmark. The foothills of Pico de Fogo are ideal for hiking, with an immense caldera surrounding the active crater. Trails start at the little town of Chã das Caldeiras and you can see recent lava flows and older ones sprouting with new growth. Along the rocky coastline you'll come across picturesque Mosteiros and the historic town of São Filipe, where elegant colonial houses overlook the Atlantic.
Day 7 – BOA VISTA
The third largest island in the Cape Verde archipelago, Boa Vista offers visitors stunning white-sand beaches and emerald water. Dubbed “the sand dune island”, it is particularly well-known for its wild, desert landscapes that are windswept all year round. The sand dunes, oases and arid plains are generally explored aboard a 4WD vehicle to discover the lunar aspect of this small tract of land that is barely 30 kilometres in length. The ideal playground for surfers, Boa Vista is also popular with marine wildlife enthusiasts, as it offers excellent opportunities for snorkelling.
Day 8 – PRAIA
The capital of Cape Verde, Praia, is located on the southern tip of Santiago island. You can dally in the districts planted with Tamarind and Albizia trees. . Above the harbour, the statue of Diogo Gomes pays homage to the man who discovered Cape Verde in 1460. A few streets away, in the old centre, the Ethnographic Museum presents the diversity of the archipelago’s cultural origins. Its historical building with transom windows is one of the city’s more unusual curiosities.
Day 9 – PRAIA
Disembarkation at 00H00.
All This Included
At the crossroads of two continents, Europe and Africa, PONANT invites you to discover a new itinerary at the heart of the Cape Verde Islands.
From Dakar, Senegal, you will set sail aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville for a 9-day expedition cruise far from the main maritime routes and crowded tourist destinations.
You will call at the island of São Nicolau, which will delight you with its pristine mountain landscapes, its picturesque capital, Ribeira Brava, its friendly inhabitants and its lively traditions.
Further west, you will visit Mindelo, the cultural capital of Cape Verde, where the famous morna singer Cesaria Evora was born.
You will also visit Santo Antão, an authentic island where you will find the greenest valley on the archipelago, the Paúl Valley. Here, you can enjoy the serenity of the landscapes surrounded by almost tropical vegetation.
A gigantic volcanic cone emerging from the Ocean, Fogo or “volcano island” is the most unusual in the archipelago. With scenery of savannah and fields of sugar cane, scattered with peaceful hamlets, Fogo offers you extraordinary panoramas.
Before disembarking in Praia, the capital of Cape Verde, you will discover Boa Vista, its barren landscapes and its beaches edged with crystal-clear water.
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Dumont d'Urville
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.