Africa cruises are becoming a popular choice for travellers seeking fabulous landscapes, breathtaking wildlife and diverse culture in the utmost luxury. A perfect year round destination, Africa cruises serve as an alternative to the Caribbean for travellers seeking some winter sun, with islands such as Zanzibar and Mauritius boasting a similar calibre of postcard beaches.
Passengers looking to soak up the myriad cultures, the vast bustling cities or the exotic wildlife on the east and west coasts, can do so peacefully and comfortably from the safety of a luxury cruise ship.
The ports on the north coast, at Tunisia and Egypt, serve as great bases for visitors to explore great archaeological sites and ruins from the Roman and Egyptian ancient civilisations.
Cape Town, the South African city, serves as a popular point of embarkation and disembarkation formany cruise liners, and is a highlight in itself. It's nestled in the heart of wine country with majestic Table Mountain looming overhead and within comfortable proximity to game reserves and national park lands.
The ports of Africa's east coast are often included on the itineraries of world cruises bound for or departing from Cape Town. Culturally rich port towns such as Mombasa, the picturesque islands of Zanzibar and the Seychelles are popular stops on these routes.
The west coast of the continent features more heavily on cruise itineraries. Colonial Casablanca makes for an exceptional stop and there is plenty to experience at the bustling and thriving port towns such as Abidjan, Dakar and Lome towards the north.
Walvis Bay in Namibia is a fantastic destination for those going in search of Africa's incredible wildlife on the west coast. Alternatively, Madagascar has some of the most unusual flora and fauna on earth.
On Africa's north coast, Tunisia is a thriving mixture of Arab and African cultures. As well being home to some of the most awesome ancient sites in the world, Egypt offers visitors some world class diving and snorkelling.
Popular African ports of call include Cotonou, Benin; Canary Islands; Cape Verde Islands; Alexandria, Cairo, Hurghada, Safaga and Sharm El-Sheikh, all in Egypt; Banjul, Gambia; Takoradi, Ghana; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Tolanaro, Madagascar; Port Louis, Mauritius; Casablanca, Morocco; Maputo, Mozambique; Walvis Bay, Namibia; Dakar, Senegal; Cape Town, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Richards Bay, all in South Africa; Lome, Togo; Tunis (La Goulette), Tunisia.
The most frequented African ports of call are those of Egypt and Tunisia on the north coast, which are usually included in the itineraries of Middle Eastern and many Mediterranean cruises. Most commonly, these routes run between Dubai and ports of east Europe such as Athens or Istanbul.
The east and west coasts of Africa still maintain a fairly low profile as cruise routes, so unfortunately there are relatively few lines that tour the region. On the other hand, the lines that do cruise there tend to visit a large number of ports, so passengers get the opportunity to experience the real Africa.
Generally these routes run between Cape Town and Gran Canaria, Istanbul and Mauritius.
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