An Island Odyssey: Azores, Madeira & Canaries Cruise

$1200
OFF
Adventure Life
A view off the beautiful coast of Madeira.
Adventure Life
Scuba diving in the reefs
Adventure Life
A hiker overlooks the cliffs on the ocean.
Adventure Life
Kayak the tranquil tropical waters of Belize
Adventure Life
Snorkel the clear, tropical waters
Relax in the luxurious sauna aboard the National Geographic Explorer.
Relax in the National Geographic Explorer's lounge.
On this ocean voyage you’ll have the rare chance to explore fascinating islands, isolated by expanses of ocean that are incredible oases of wildness and sites of intriguing histories. These dots of green developed in isolation until they were discovered, colonized, and used as stopping off points of early explorers and travelers making their way across the ocean by ship, the only means possible. They are fascinating for their rich marine and unique tropical wildlife, histories in the age of exploration and colonialism, and their rich modern cultures—all of which you’ll explore aboard the National Geographic Explorer.

Day 1

    Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal / Embark

    Arrive in Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel in the Azores to embark the National Geographic Explorer and settle in for your upcoming Atlantic cruise.

    Day 2

      Sao Miguel, Azores

      At the heart of the Atlantic Ocean is a lush, mountainous archipelago that combines the breathtaking landscapes of Hawaii with the charm and culture of old-world Europe. Devote three days to the Azores, as there is plenty to lure you here. Rolling pastures and volcanic peaks dominate this landscape. The villages are lovely and the museums intriguing. Today explore the Furnas Valley and its famed hot springs, hiking the trails or perhaps visiting a tea plantation or the lovely garden of Terra Nostra. And enjoy a tasting of Azorean cuisine. Savor a traditional cozido lunch, naturally cooked from the volcanic activity—underground!

      Day 3

        Faial, Azores

        The Azores are a whale-watching mecca, where more than 20 different types of cetaceans can be spotted. Go in search of these gentle giants in the channel north of Pico and Horta islands. Once ashore on the island of Faial, head to Capelinhos, where you can see how dramatically the landscape changed when the volcano at the western end of the island erupted in 1957. Farms and villages were covered with ash, adding an extra two square kilometers of land to the island. Later, stroll along the marina, visit the excellent scrimshaw museum, and raise a glass at Peter’s Café Sport, a legendary pub where sea adventurers historically dropped off their mail. For those interested, scuba diving beneath startlingly clear water can be arranged. Or see some of the countryside on foot with a guided hike.

        Day 4

          Santa Maria, Azores

          Like the Maasai trackers of East Africa, local whale experts have centuries of ties to their surroundings and an instinct for scouting its wild inhabitants. They guide you on your morning whale-watching. In the afternoon, go ashore at Santa Maria, historically significant as the first landfall of Christopher Columbus on his return from the Americas in 1493. For those interested in getting some exercise, there are hiking trails that allow you to experience the scenery and atmosphere of the island.

          Day 5

            At Sea

            En route to Madeira your expedition team recounts lively tales about the Golden Age of Exploration. These waters are full of marine creatures and seabirds; head up to the bridge and pick up a pair of binoculars. Take time to catch up on your reading in the library, have a massage or attend a wellness session.

            Days 6-7

              Madeira, Portugal

              Often referred to as the ‘floating garden of the Atlantic,’ Madeira has beautiful scenery, with a delicious climate. Walk in the Laurisilva forest, endemic to Macaronesia and now a UNESCO Site. Wander along the levadas (former irrigation channels) that network the island or visit the Botanical Gardens. Sample Madeira’s seafood and hear a performance of authentic Fado singing. Have a tasting of the famed Madeira wines, and browse the exquisite embroidery and wicker crafted here. Zodiac cruise around the nearby islands of Desertas, a nature reserve, to see the multi-colored coastline geology and search for the rare endangered monk seal.

              Day 8

                At Sea / Canary Islands

                After a morning at sea, arrive in the lush, European-flavored Canary Islands. All are of volcanic origin, reflected everywhere in the landscapes. The Canary Islands are known for their sunny climate and historical heritage. La Palma is known as Isla Bonita, the “pretty isle,” for its lush mountain slopes set against azure waters. Head up to the edge of a small crater for beautiful views and visit the church of Our Lady of the Snows, with its Spanish-Moorish architecture.

                Day 9

                  La Gomera, Canary Islands

                  La Gomera is considered to be the departure point of Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World. On this unspoiled island, spend time at Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO site, to hike and stretch our legs.

                  Days 10-11

                    At Sea

                    Keep a constant lookout for seabirds and marine creatures, stopping to observe them or perhaps film them with the ship’s underwater camera. During your days at sea, plan to engage in a variety of activities. Read in the ship’s library, enjoy a rejuvenating massage, work out in the gym, listen to talks from our staff, or simply relax.

                    Days 12-13

                      Cape Verde

                      The spectacular mountainous volcanic islands of Cape Verde comprise one of the world’s smallest independent nations. See impressive landscapes on Santo Antao: terraced hillsides, eucalyptus forests and deep valleys. Visit the island of Fogo, and add volcano-gazing to your life list. Drive 5,000 feet up the volcano to sample the local wine at its source: inside the caldera!

                      Day 14

                        Praia, Santiago Island, Cape Verde / Disembark

                        Disembark in Praia, the bustling capital of Cape Verde. The Old Town was founded by the Portuguese in 1460, and was once the most prosperous city of the Portuguese sea-borne empire, owing to the transatlantic slave trade. This morning see the old fortress, cathedral and the pelourhino, a relic of the slave trade. Or you may want to hike the green and mountainous countryside. Dotted with small villages, it offers an insight into daily life on the island. In the late evening transfer to the airport for your flight home.
                         Cat 1Cat 2Cat 3Cat 4Cat 5Cat 6Cat 7Cat SACat SB
                        2014-Sep-22$13,820$14,590$15,290$16,470$18,820$21,960$25,230$18,240$19,110
                        $1200 OFF
                        Book this departure by July 31st to receive complimentary round-trip international air (valued at $1200) from Boston to Azores, and Cape Verde to Miami!
                        2014 : Sep 22
                        3030
                        10% OFF
                        Save 10% off cruise fare when you book this departure by July 31st!
                        2014 : Sep 22
                        3088
                        These special offers are applicable only to new bookings.
                        Discounts are subject to availability, so contact us for more details.
                        Travelers under the age of 18 save $500 per person.
                        Includes:

                        *All accommodations aboard the ship or in hotels per itinerary or similar
                        *All meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship, meals on land as indicated
                        *Shore excursions
                        *Sightseeing and entrance fees
                        *Special access permits
                        *Transfers to and from group flights
                        *Use of snorkeling equipment and wet suits
                        *Use of kayaks (where available)
                        *Gratuities (except ship’s crew)
                        *Taxes and service charges
                        *Services of a ship physician on most voyages *Services of expedition staff.

                        Excludes:

                        *Air transportation
                        *Extensions
                        *Passport
                        *Visa
                        *Immigration fees
                        *Scuba diving (where available)
                        *Meals not indicated
                        *Baggage/accident/travel protection plan
                        *E-mail
                        *Laundry
                        *Gratuities to the ship's crew

                        Optional Complimentary Add-On:

                        *Guests may choose a complimentary Atlantic crossing to Salvador, Brazil, continuing aboard National Geographic Explorer on a leisurely six-day ocean crossing (Oct. 6-12) — with time to relax, recharge, hear talks from staff, and watch for whales and other marine life. Arrive in the baroque city of Salvador, Brazil Oct. 12 for disembarkation and transfer to the airport for an overnight independent flight home.

                        Deposit & Payment

                        Initial deposit is varies, and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and Discover. Alternatively, you can send a check to our Missoula, Montana, office or register online at: https://www.adventure-life.com/forms/register

                        Final payment is due 130 days prior to departure.

                        Final payment by Visa, Mastercard, Discover or AmEx.

                        Booking last minute? No problem! Please contact one of our trip planners, and we can get you on your way if booking less than 130 days prior to departure.

                        Click here to see a copy of our Terms and Conditions.

                        Cancellation Policy

                        Days Prior to departureFee
                        180+ days$950
                        179-120Deposit
                        119-9030%
                        89-6055%
                        59-0100%