Day by day itinerary
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, North America
Miami is one of the world’s most popular holiday spots. It has so much to offer; from its countless beach areas, to culture and museums, from spa and shopping days out, to endless cuban restaurants and cafes. Miami is a multicultural city that has something to offer to everyone.
Located closer to Havana than Miami, Key West is synonymous for all that is fabulous. Whether it’s beaches, back country or just a brilliant time that you’re after, Florida’s most southern point holds a wealth of intrigue, both past and present. Famed for its unique originality, Key West is a condensation of the best of the sunshine state – fantastic weather, laid back attitude, deep-rooted history and masses of fantastic, fresh seafood; it’s little wonder that nobody ever wants to leave.Floating in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the island has two very definite personalities: bookish and bizarre. On the one hand, the literary festivals, exquisite Caribbean architecture and splendid art galleries attract the bourgeoisie, while on the other, the eccentricity and reticence to be associated with “the mainland” attracts all kinds of “happies” –new era hippies. The two dichotomies live peacefully side by side and have done ever since travellers started arriving in the 1960s — Key West being one of the three big K’s on the hippie path to enlightenment (Kuta and Kathmandu are the others).But past the idiosyncrasies of the Key Westers, and you will find an island that is literally brimming over with spectacular sights and wonderful wilderness. From Henry S. Truman’s Little White House and Ernest Hemmingway’s house and studio, to botanical gardens and marine sanctuaries, visitors will leave this fascinating island wanting more.Best seen by foot, bike or boat, this is an island to be explored al fresco.
Cartagena's magnificent city walls and fortresses, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, enclose a well-restored historic center (the Cuidad Amurallada, or walled city) with plazas, churches, museums, and shops that have made it a lively coastal vacation spot for South Americans and others. New hotels and restaurants make the walled city a desirable place to stay, and the formerly down-at-the-heels Getsemaní neighborhood attracts those seeking a bohemian buzz. The historic center is a small section of Cartagena; many hotels are in the Bocagrande district, an elongated peninsula where high-rise hotels overlook a long, gray-sand beach.When it was founded in 1533 by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Heredia, Cartagena was the only port on the South American mainland. Gold and silver looted from indigenous peoples passed through here en route to Spain and attracted pirates, including Sir Francis Drake, who in 1586 torched 200 buildings. Cartagena's walls protected the city's riches as well as the New World's most important African slave market.
Aruba's capital is easily explored on foot. Its palm-lined central thoroughfare runs between old and new pastel-painted buildings of typical Dutch design (Spanish influence is also evident in some of the architecture). There are a lot of malls with boutiques and shops—the Renaissance mall carries high-end luxury items and designer fashions. A massive renovation in downtown has given Main Street (a.k.a. Caya G. F. Betico Croes) behind the Renaissance Resort a whole new lease on life: boutique malls, shops, and restaurants have opened next to well-loved family-run businesses. The pedestrian-only walkway and resting areas have unclogged the street, and the new eco-trolley is free and a great way to get around. At this writing, Linear Park was well and will showcase local merchants and artists. There will be activities along a boardwalk that will eventually run all the way to the end of Palm Beach, making it the longest of its kind in the Caribbean.
The small island of Mayreau, just one and 1/2 square miles in area (3.9 square kilometres) is the smallest inhabited island of The Grenadines, and is part of the independent state of St.Vincent in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Two of the best known islands in The Grenadines are Mustique and Bequia, the second largest island in this group. The Grenadine Islands are strung out in a gentle sweep between St.Vincent and Grenada. Most visitors to Mayreau arrive from cruise ships, on the regular ferry, or by yacht. There are no proper roads on the island, only a few vehicles, no airport and only a single unnamed village. Mayreau and the neighboring Tobago Cays are very popular for divers and snorkellers. Saline Bay, on the west coast of the island, has a wonderful broad beach and a few local vendors selling T-shirts and local craft. A climb up the road to the hilltop village on the island provides breathtaking views across Mayreau, Canouan, the Tobago Cays and Carriacou.
Coast of the Carribean Sea, Bridgetown, Barbados
Located beside the island’s only natural harbour, the capital of Barbados combines modern and colonial architecture with glorious palm tree-lined beaches and a number of historical attractions. Experience the relaxed culture of the city renowned for its British-style parliament buildings and vibrant beach life, and seek out the Anglican church and the 19th-century Barbados Garrison. The distance between the ship and your tour vehicle may vary. This distance is not included in the excursion grades.
Your next stop will be Cape Verde’s cultural capital, Mindelo. Get along with the locals listening to the real morna in the bars of the old town and sipping the local drink, a sugarcane spirit. This island is also known by its British and Portuguese colonial architecture and pastel-coloured houses, the municipal market and the facades of the old Governor’s Palace.
Panorama of Dakar, Senegal
Dakar, set at the tip of the Cape Vert peninsula, is West Africa’s westernmost point and the capital of French-speaking Senegal. Although it was not founded until 1857, it is West Africa’s oldest European city and one of the most westernised. The opening of the Dakar-St Louis railway in 1885 put the town on the map; it subsequently became a French naval base and in 1904, the capital of Afrique Occidentale Française. It bears the legacy of Africa’s French colonial past, especially so in the downtown Plateau area, where the architecture is redolent of southern France. Every inch a modern city, Dakar is a frenetic buzz of activity, which can be startling. Perhaps sample the popular mint tea and try your hand at bartering in the colourful craft markets for traditional embroidery, woodcarvings, metalwork and costume jewellery.
West Africa Gambia Banjul - panoramic view city
The tiny city of Banjul is the capital of The Gambia, a country that itself is little more than the banks of the mighty river that shares its name. Situated on St Mary’s Island, where the River Gambia joins the Atlantic, Bathurst, as Banjul was previously called, was established by the British in the early nineteenth century as a naval outpost dedicated to putting a halt to the trade in human beings. In 1943, Franklin Roosevelt visited Banjul on his way to the Casablanca conference with Churchill, becoming the first serving American president to visit Africa. Today, Banjul plays host to a thriving tourist trade, thanks to its pleasant climate, and is the political centre for the oldest democracy in Africa.
Three hours south of Yamoussoukro, nestled in between the canals and waterways, lies Abidjan the economic capital of the Ivory Coast. Considered the crossroads of West Africa both economically and culturally, Abidjan benefits from clement temperatures year round, reaching average highs of around 88˚ Fahrenheit, or 30˚ Celsius. Like much of West Africa, this city has cachet and soul, and enjoys a diversity of cultures, traditions and people, notably through the French influence, but also through the steady stream of tourists that make the city both vibrant and cosmopolitan. Although its reputation was tarnished during the civil war in 2011, Abidjan held firm and has blossomed into a stunning coastal city, ripe for exploration.
Ghana's fourth-largest city plays serene beaches against a bustling commercial centre. People from around the world visit the shore, both for its beauty and to enjoy the fresh seafood served right on the sands. Frantic city life awaits a short distance inland, where an economy fuelled by Ghana’s oil industry is most apparent in the maze of vendors at Market Circle.
To visit Luanda is to witness the inhabitants of Angola rebuild a great city with their newly-acquired wealth. The sense of pride and confidence is overwhelming, and is demonstrated by the city’s new highways and skyscrapers, and by the wildlife and habitat rehabilitation programmes being carried out by the conservation authorities. The modern city of Luanda was founded in 1575 by Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais, and soon became a centre for trade between Portugal’s African colonies and Brazil. Apart from a short period of Dutch occupation, Luanda was under Portuguese rule until 1974. In the four decades since independence, Angola has become a peaceful and increasingly prosperous country, rich in diamonds and Africa’s second largest oil producer: many international companies now have head offices in Luanda. Please note: Owing to the destruction caused to the country’s infrastructure during the civil war that ended in 2002, Angola lost much of its ability to produce and distribute food: the resulting heavy import duties and high taxes have driven up the cost of goods and services, making Luanda one of the world’s most expensive cities. The price of excursions in this port reflects the prevailing local conditions.
Once a whaling station, Walvis Bay provides a gateway to the extraordinary desert landscapes of Namibia and is itself an area of unusual natural beauty. The showpiece of the Walvis Bay area is the natural lagoon where you can see flamingos in their thousands at certain times of the year, along with a variety of other wading birds such as the white pelican. Further inland you will find the stunning Namib Desert, which provides an unlikely home for a diverse array of wildlife. Alternatively, you could venture into the desert of Sossusvlei, whose mountainous ochre sand dunes are said to be the highest in the world, or visit the colonial town of Swakopmund.
Luderitz city at sunset, Namibia, Africa
The reopening of the diamond mine at Elizabeth Bay 20 years ago has brought the development of tourism and fishing back to this small 19th century village on the barren, windswept Namib Desert coast. One of Namibias oddities, it has everything you'd expect from a small German town - delicatessens, coffee shops and a Lutheran church. Here, the icy but clean South Atlantic is home to seals, penguins and other marine life and the desolate beaches support flamingoes. It was founded in 1883 when Heinrich Vogelsang purchased Angra Pequena and some of the surrounding land on behalf of Adolf Lüderitz, a Hanseat from Germany, from the local Nama chief. Lüderitz began its life as a trading post, with other activities in fishing and guano-harvesting. As a sign of Luderitz's revival, 1996 staged the first traditional German Karneval since 1960.
Sometimes referred to as the Mother City, Cape Town is the most famous port in South Africa and is influenced by many different cultures, including Dutch, British and Malay. The port was founded in 1652 by Dutch explorer Jan Van Riebeeck, and evidence of Dutch colonial rule remains throughout the region. The port is located on one of the world's most important trade routes, and is mainly a container port and handler of fresh fruit. Fishing is another vital industry, with large Asian fishing fleets using Cape Town as a logistical repair base for much of the year. The region is famous for its natural beauty, with the imposing Table Mountain and Lions Head, as well as the many nature reserves and botanical gardens such as Kirstenbosch which boasts an extensive range of indigenous plant life, including proteas and ferns. Cape Town's weather is mercurial, and can change from beautiful sunshine to dramatic thunderstorms within a short period. A local adage is that in Cape Town you can experience four seasons in one day.
Seabourn Sojourn, which will debut next year, carries 450 guests in the same intimate, relaxed atmosphere as its smaller sister ships and shares the same all-suite accommodations and delights, such as the water sports marina.