Cape Town to Sydney – Queen Mary 2 – 31 January 2024
Africa & Indian Ocean Cruises
Africa, a vast continent of 50-plus immensely diverse nations, offers a broad array of cruising possibilities. Wedged between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and capped off by the Mediterranean Sea, Africa features a generous coastline. Cruises provide a practical and exciting way of getting acquainted with Africa’s rich native cultures, legendary landscapes (from rolling dunes to sweeping savannas to rain forest-blanketed isles), and majestic wildlife. An exotic adventure there awaits, all from a comfortable floating home base.
The Best Itineraries
You can choose your cruise based on your interests — nature and wildlife scouting are top attractions in Africa, so you might want to sync up you’re sailing to coordinate with safari opportunities in-game reserve hot spots like South Africa or Kenya (many cruise lines offer convenient pre-or post-cruise land-based safari add-ons). Perhaps you want to bask on glorious beaches (like those of the sun-kissed Seychelles); explore coastal deserts and dunes (try Namibia); or set out in search of rainforest biodiversity (look no further than Madagascar). Or perhaps wine country outside of Cape Town, the bustling markets of Maputo (Mozambique), or rhythmic Zulu drumming and dancing in Durban (South Africa) is more your cruising speed.
Best Time to Cruise
The African cruise season generally runs from October or November to May. On either side of that booking window, you’re likely to find lengthier repositioning voyages, which include African ports as starting or ending points on multicontinental sailings. December and January are particularly busy months for cruises operating out of South Africa.
The Indian Ocean isles offer exceptions to that time frame, with year-round itineraries running in Seychelles, along with July options for Madagascar.
The Indian Ocean Islands
Due to its rich trading history, the Indian Ocean was once known as “Ratnakara”, the Sanskrit word for “creator of gems”. Flanked and defined by Africa’s east coast and Madagascar, the calm azure waters are dotted with a plethora of exotic isles. Luxury Indian Ocean cruising allows you to visit many of the beautiful idyllic islands that lie in the third largest oceanic region in the world.
A fascinating blend of cultures awaits you in Mauritius, with an extraordinary melting pot of religions and practices for such a small island. Located approximately 2,000 kilometers off the southeastern coast of Africa, you can be sure of warm weather during your stay. A paradise for deep-sea fishing, it is a haven for those who long for excellent cuisine and a more relaxed approach to life. Highlights include the picturesque coastal village of Grand Bay, the bustling Port Louis, and the awe-inspiring beach of Tamarin. For the adventurous, there is also the opportunity to swim with dolphins in their own habitat. But more fascinating is the scenery. The island’s beaches dramatically give way to enormous virgin forests that are calling out to be explored, and there will be plenty of opportunities for you to sit and enjoy the natural surroundings aboard one of the luxurious cruise vessels available. Add in the delights of Chinese, Indian, French, and African cuisine.