South Africa & Namibia Cruise – Norwegian Jade – 2 January 2023
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.
Africa’s a long way to go, and many who make the trek don’t want to miss out on the epic opportunity to set out in search of the “Big Five” on safari. If you can afford the extra time and expense, consider tacking on a pre-or post-cruise safari package, accessible best from ports in South Africa (at Durban, Port Elizabeth, or Cape Town) or Kenya (at Mombasa). The Cruise Pro are experts in Africa and particularly Safaris. Be it a one-day trip to the “Big Five” or a full-blown visit to the African Bush. Our experts will be happy to advise you on the available options.
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.
Once an essential trading hub of the Indian Ocean where all manner of traditions and cultures came into contact, the Maldives has a remarkably diverse selection of languages, beliefs, arts, and attitudes thanks to its international routes. Rarely in the world can you see African drumming, Arabian construction techniques, and fine artistry reminiscent of Southeast Asian architecture all in one location.
The beautiful unspoiled waters of Seychelles are a stunning sight, and it’s no wonder they attracted a certain royal couple for their honeymoon. Such is the appeal of this remarkable archipelago that Seafarer offers two distinct options for cruising – one in a mega yacht that carries up to 49 passengers and one in a sailing catamaran that boasts just 24 passengers. Both offer extraordinary journeys throughout this paradise at the hands of a highly knowledgeable crew who can help you unwrap the mysteries that surround it. There is plenty of overlap between the two sets of holidays, with both offerings numerous opportunities to explore the unique culture that exists here and to drink in the natural beauty that is prevalent across the many islands of Seychelles. Highlights include Anse Lazio, which is commonly cited as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.