In partnership with National Geographic Expeditions.
Board L'Austral for a fabulous expedition cruise between Praia and Dakar. This brand-new 8-day adventure will enable you to discover Cape Verde and the Bijagos, two exceptional archipelagos including wild nature, cultural heritage and encounters with the local populations.
Your cruise will start on the island of Santiago, in Praia, the Cape Verde capital, where you will have the opportunity to visit the historic centre of Ribeira Grande, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A gigantic volcanic cone emerging from the Ocean, Fogo or “volcano island” is the most unusual in the Cape Verde archipelago. With scenery of savannah and fields of sugar cane, scattered with peaceful hamlets, Fogo will offer you extraordinary panoramas.
You will discover the long white sandy beaches and the dunes of the island of Boa Vista, before heading to the Bijagos archipelago.
Located off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, this archipelago is one of the most preserved and protected on the planet. Classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, it is made up of 88 islands, most of which are uninhabited and nestling in the heart of an environment which often remains untouched by humans.
During your Zodiac® outings, you will get as close as possible to nature, between pale-sand beaches, mangrove stretching as far as the eye can see, savannah, palm trees and baobabs.
The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.
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*The displayed rate is the minimum rate according to stateroom category and does not take into account the actual availability of stateroom categories, given per double base cabin (for 2 adult occupants)
Choose your stateroom category
30% Ponant Bonus
30% Ponant Bonus
Prestige Deck 4
30% Ponant Bonus
Prestige Deck 5
30% Ponant Bonus
Prestige Deck 6
30% Ponant Bonus
30% Ponant Bonus
Prestige Deck 5 Suite
30% Ponant Bonus
Prestige Deck 6 Suite
30% Ponant Bonus
Important trip details
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Guinea Bissau: visa delivered and charged onboard (85 € subject to change).
The yellow fever inoculation is mandatory for this cruise, bring along the original certificate. A copy of your certificate must be sent to PONANT at least 45 days prior to your cruise. However, it is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advice relating to travel through these regions.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Cabo Verde: Citizens of the European Union and United Kingdom must complete a pre-registration form by following the instructions detailed on www.ease.gov.cv. This formality is mandatory but free of charge and must be completed at least 7 days prior to your cruise. On the same platform you will have to pay the new airport security tax (3,400 Cape Verde Escudos/approximately 31 €). Passengers of other nationalities must proceed with the same formalities, however the pre-registration is not free of charge.
It is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advise relating to travel through these regions.
Expedition programmes include activities such as Zodiac® outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landings"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.
Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Travelling to isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. In remote areas, please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.
During your visits to some local communities, all guests will be required to dress respectfully. Ladies must have their shoulders and thighs covered. Gentlemen should have their shoulders covered also.
Do not hesitate to visit the online PONANT store which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations, at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com
Benefits of the PONANT store:
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
In your hand luggage, remember to bring any medicines that you need, and possibly a small spare bag of toiletries (in case of delay in the delivery of your baggage by the airline). Remember to always have your travel documents with you in case you need them: hotel vouchers, cruise vouchers, return flight tickets... Never leave them in your hold luggage.
All our cabins have a safe. We recommend not to go ashore with valuable jewellery.
25 March 2020 Praia
Embarkation 25/03/2020 from 16h00 to 17h00
Departure 25/03/2020 at 23h59
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.
26 March 2020 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.
27 March 2020 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.
28 March 2020 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 observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
29 March 2020 Carache Island, Bijagos
Throughout its unspoilt, wild landscapes, the Bissagos archipelago is an area of extraordinary biodiversity, remarkably well protected by local communities. This constellation of islands, bathed by the Atlantic, is home to extremely varied flora and fauna. In the heart of luxuriant nature, you'll enjoy Caravela and Carache Islands wild charm and its Bijago inhabitants, fascinating men and women who have adapted to and melted in with their natural environment.
30 March 2020 31 March 2020 Caravela Island, Bijagos
Throughout its unspoilt, wild landscapes, the Bissagos archipelago is an area of extraordinary biodiversity, remarkably well protected by local communities. This constellation of islands, bathed by the Atlantic, is home to extremely varied flora and fauna. In the heart of luxuriant naturemeet its Bijago inhabitants, fascinating men and women who have adapted to and melted in with their natural environment.
1 April 2020 Dakar
Arrival 01/04/2020 early morning
Disembarkation 01/04/2020 at 08h00
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.
Explore the planet’s most remote tropical regions during a PONANT expedition cruise. In the heart of Oceania’s archipelagos or the Indian Ocean atolls, along the wild coastlines of Central America or Australia, our luxury amenities and services will make your expedition cruise an unforgettable experience. Our expedition leaders and their teams of naturalist guides devise exceptional itineraries and organise daily outings, shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies, or snorkelling when the cruises are conducive to it, to take you as close as possible to nature. Aboard the ship, they share their knowledge during lectures on a variety of topics such as the fauna and flora, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology. On land, using the local transport options or during hikes, discover the must-see natural sites and, for a few hours, partake in the life and ancestral customs of the local populations.
Take advantage of our special consecutive cruises offers*
- When this cruise is in 2nd position get a -20% discount
- When this cruise is in 3rd position get a -30% discount
- When this cruise is in 4th position get a -40% discount
- When this cruise is in 5th position get a -50% discount
- When this cruise is in 6th position get a -60% discount
*Reduction does not apply to the first cruise and relates to the port/port fare excluding port taxes, non available for Ocean Voyages and subject to availability. The offer is only available on selected cruises. Please, contact us.
No single supplement
FREE SINGLE SUPPLEMENT *
*The supplement for single usage of a double cabin is waived, according to availability and staterooms categories.
Flight credit 1000€
* € 1000 flight credit per person on select cruises. This offer is subject to availability and may be changed or withdrawn without prior notice. It cannot be backdated.
Enhance your cruise and extend your trip with a carefully designed programme.
Day 1 – Praia (arrival during the night)
Meet at Praia Airport in the Arrival hall. Look for PONANT sign. You will be greeted by our local representative off the flight selected by PONANT.
You will be transferred to Perola hotel 4* (about 10 minutes).
Check-in in your room during the night.
Day 2 – Praia/Rui Vaz/Cidade Velha (Ribeira Grande)
You will depart the hotel in the end of morning to enjoy a half day sightseeing tour of the main island of Santiago. Santiago is the largest (991 km²) and most populated of the Cape Verde Islands, it is home to more than half the country’s population.
Driving through mountainous landscapes, you will reach Rui Vaz where a typical lunch will be served in a local restaurant.
You will then continue through the Island’s mountainous interior made of lush valleys with coconut trees, acacias and coffee plantations, in order to discover Cidade Velha, a Unesco World heritage site.
You will take a photo stop at Forte Real de São Filipe offering a breathtaking view over the old capital city of Cape Verde Islands, Cidade Velha renamed Ribeira Grande at the end of the 18 th-century. Cidade Velha was founded in 1462 by the Portuguese. It was the first European city in the tropics. The great explorers Christopher Columbus and Vasco de Gama made stops here during their voyages. You will explore town on foot walking along its oldest street Quaint Rua de Banana, passing by Nossa Senhora do Rosario Church and Pelourinho Obelisk which both bear witness to the past of the island as a centre of the slave trade.
You may enjoy a break listening to the traditional music of “Batuco”. This music was introduced to the islands by the first African slaves. In a Batuque session, singers and dancers form a circle, their voices blending in with their own percussive sounds, the bodies of the solo dancers swinging to the beat.
You will then be transferred to the port of Praia, to embark on board your ship.
Located near the historic center (about 15 minutes), Perola Hotel faces the Gamboa beach. Completely renewed, it features modern architecture and contemporary interiors. Each room is comfortable and full equipped (air conditioning, minibar, safe, flat screen TV, hairdryer).
You may enjoy panoramic view from the restaurant and the swimming pool on the rooftop.
Your programme includes:
Your programme does not include:
Contact of your hotel:
Perola Hotel 4*
Chã de Areia
Praia, CP 129A, Cabo Verde
Telephone number: +238 260 14 40
Duration of the visits are given as a guide only. The order of the visits may be reversed.
To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel agent; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents.
Total : 280 €According to availability.
Travel with peace of mind as PONANT organises your transfer day time between your port of disembarkation and the airport.
Gorée Island - Dakar
After disembarkation procedures are completed, you will be greeted at pier by our local representative
Your day will be spent visiting the evocative Ile de Gorée. Just three kilometres off of Dakar, this little island is a haunting reminder of 350 years of the slave trade. Indeed, it was the biggest holding centre for slaves brought in from all over West Africa, and has become a symbol and UNESCO World Heritage site.
From Dakar port, you will take the ferry for the 25-minute crossing. The visit is on foot starting at the House of Slaves, the most visited museum in Senegal which still evokes the poignant reality of one of the darkest periods in the history of the world. You will then move on to the Church of Saint-Charles-Borromée, one of the only two buildings on the island. Its construction was financed by the signares of Gorée in 1830, the original church having been burned down by English soldiers on Christmas night 1799. From there you will walk up to the Castle on a rocky plateau covered in fortifications, a reminder of the wars fought between Europeans (English, French, Portuguese and Dutch) to gain control of the island. The Castle offers a fine panoramic view of Dakar. You will then cross the island via the market and colourful, picturesque streets to reach the History Museum located in the former Fort d’Estrées. Here you can trace Senegal’s history from prehistoric times to independence and the various migrations that have taken place over the centuries. Not far from here is the Chevalier de Boufflers (or similar) restaurant where you will have a typical local lunch before catching the ferry back to Dakar.
You will stop at the African Renaissance Monument and continue to the Mosque of Divinity, located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, before reaching the Soumbédioune Handicraft Village Market for some time at leisure.
Dinner will be served in the Dagorne restaurant (or similar) before your transfer to Dakar airport in connection with the departure of the flight selected by PONANT.
Your programme includes:
Your programme does not include:
Duration of the visits are given as a guide only. The order of the visits may be reversed. To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel advisor; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents.
Total : 270 €According to availability.
Total : 1.570 €According to availability.