The Skeleton and the Gold Coast« All Silver Explorer cruise options
- Day 1 Cape Town, South Africa
- Day 2 At Sea
- Day 3 Luderitz, Namibia
- Days 4-5 Walvis Bay, Namibia
- Days 6-7 At Sea
- Day 6 Lobito, Angola
- Day 7 Luanda, Angola
- Days 10-11 At Sea
- Day 12 São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe
- Day 13 Príncipe , São Tomé and Príncipe
- Day 14 Kribi, Cameroon
- Day 15 Limbe, Cameroon
- Day 16 At Sea
- Day 17 Cotonou, Benin
- Day 18 Lome, Togo
- Day 19 Tema (Accra), Ghana
|Dates||Deck + Cabin Type|
|Adventurer Class||Explorer Class||View Suite||Vista Suite||Veranda Suite||Expedition Suite||Medallion Suite||Silver Suite||Grand Suite||Owner|
-All prices are in US Dollars, Cruise-Only per person based on double occupancy.
Day 1 Cape Town, South Africa
Embark the Silver Explorer for your 19-day expedition. This unique Cape Town to Accra adventure explores some of the more remote and less visited areas along the West African coast. Once on board, meet some of your fellow explorers as you become acquainted with the ship’s luxurious amenities. This evening, after settling in and setting sail, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team.
Day 2 At Sea
Your knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields. Gather in The Theatre to enjoy the first in a series of informative lectures presented by your onboard Expedition Team. Perhaps learn some tips and techniques for taking better photos during a photographic workshop offered by our resident photographer. Tonight, you are invited to attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party whereat the Captain will introduce his senior officers and various members of the Silver Explorer crew.
Day 3 Luderitz, Namibia
The small town of Luderitz is wedged between the Namib Desert dunes and the wild Atlantic seaboard. Following lunch onboard, visit the abandoned diamond-mining town of Kolmanskop. In 1908, a sparkling diamond was found among the sand and the news spread like wildfire, causing fortune hunters to converge in droves on Kolmanskop. The town reached its pinnacle in the 1920s with approximately 300 German adults, 40 children and 800 Owambo contract workers as residents. In spite of, or probably because of, the isolation of the surrounding desert, Kolmanskop developed into a lively little haven of German culture. However, richer diamond deposits were discovered further south, and operations were moved. Today it is mostly a ghost town of crumbling ruins; the stately homes, eroded by the wind, are gradually becoming sand. However, a museum has been established and a number of buildings restored. The excursion continues with a tour of Luderitz, stopping at historic spots such as the old whaling station, Goerke House, Diaz Point and the old Herero internment camp of Shark Island.
Alternatively, you may choose to set off on a guided walking tour of Luderitz for an in-depth exploration of its attractions. Set against a background of black rock and sparkling blue waters, an architectural heritage of graceful buildings from the German era gives the town a special charm. Take time to visit the small museum in town that features German colonial flags and photos of Adolf Lüderitz, as well as exhibits on the town’s history, its indigenous population, and life in the desert.
Days 4-5 Walvis Bay, Namibia
Today head ashore for an unforgettable off-road adventure. Traveling by landrover, first observe the many flamingos that visit the Walvis Bay Lagoon, then continue past the Walvis Bay Saltpans towards the Kuiseb Delta. The Sandwich Harbour Lagoon is a large natural tidal lagoon completely surrounded by giant sand dunes, and accessible only by 4x4 - even this relies largely on the tides.
Optional Scenic Dunes Flight
Take advantage of an unparalleled opportunity to see the famous Sossusvlei Dunes from the air, a site very difficult to access by land. Following the (normally dry) Kuiseb River, fly over Sesriem Canyon then along the Tsauchab river valley where the free-standing but static dunes tower up to 250 metres above the plain. The dune belt runs north to south for over 70 km between Sossusvlei and the Atlantic. Upon reaching the coast, head north over deserted mining camps and seal colonies to Conception Bay and the wreck of the Eduard Bohlen (run aground in the early 40s). This optional excursion will operate only if weather/fog conditions permit. Please contact us in advance to arrange this optional tour.
Tonight, everyone will gather together again for a three-course meal in a spectacular desert location. Away from all habitation, there is virtually no ambient light in the coastal dunes and the stars should be amazing. Soft lights, candles, crisp white tablecloths, sparking chinaware and glasses enhance the special ambience of this unique and unforgettable evening.
Begin your second day in Walvis Bay with an early morning boat cruise in the protected outer lagoon area where the water is calm and abundant with bird life. Enjoy wonderful photographic opportunities as playful Haviside’s and bottlenose dolphins frolic in the boat’s wake and pelicans fly low overhead. Atlantic cape fur seals may even come aboard for a fishy snack! Other seabirds you will see include flamingos and cormorants. If you are very lucky, you may even see leatherback turtles, whales, or the local ‘Mola Mola’ or sunfish. Pass fishing factories and foreign ships in the port and conclude your excursion with a taste of fresh Walvis Bay oysters and local ‘champagne’.
Days 6-7 At Sea
Binoculars and camera in hand, head out on deck to watch for seabirds and marine mammals. Attend informative lectures that will prepare you for the upcoming ports-of-call and the adventures that lie ahead. Other onboard diversions include spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.
Day 6 Lobito, Angola
Your morning in Lobito allows time to explore Sao Felipe de Benguela, a city that lies on a bay of the same name. Benguela was founded by Portuguese in 1617 and served as an important center in slave trading. It is Angola’s self-appointed cultural capital, with lovely Art Deco architecture. Plan to see Benguela’s Cathedral Church (Igreja Catedral de nosa senhora de Fatima de Benguela), the famous 100-year-old Igreja de Popula church built by the Portuguese during the colonial era, and the museum of culture and history housed in a historical building.
As you make your way back to the ship pass the Zaire, a boat used to help the president escape to the Congo during the civil war. This boat is a symbol of peace and serves to remind the Angolan people of the progress and freedom the country now enjoys.
Day 7 Luanda, Angola
Luanda is the capital of Angola, and home to four million. This bustling city presents us with many places to explore including the 1575 Fortress of San Miguel de Luanda with its striking blue tiles and the anthropology museum that houses an array of traditional masks along with art, sculptures, tools, weaponry, jewellery, clothing and musical instruments. Drive to Cidade Alta, or uptown – a pleasant, airy and calm suburb with several pink colonial buildings and then head to the Baixa, or downtown, to view the Houses of Parliament – both new and old. Afterwards drive past Maianga en route back to the ship.
Days 10-11 At Sea
Participate in onboard activities, relax in one of the lounges, or peruse an array of titles and topics in the well-stocked Library. Tonight, before turning in, take a stroll on deck and enjoy the solitude and splendour of the vast sea and sky.
Day 12 São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe
The Portuguese-speaking island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe is located in the Gulf of Guinea, and is a virtually undiscovered paradise. Palm fringed beaches, crystal clear water and barely explored jungles are surely the reason for the pervasive national mood that translates to ‘slowly slowly’ and loosely translates to ‘it’s all good, take it easy’. The Portuguese-Creole flavor and unspoiled beauty of this tropical paradise is ours to savor.
Some of the world’s best coffee is produced on the island, and during your full-day tour experience coffee culture at São Tomé's highest plantation estate and learn how coffee is still processed in the traditional manner. Travel along the east coast to enjoy the view of Ilhéu de Santana. In Água Izé stop at the viewpoint, Miradouro d'Água Izé and visit the cocoa plantation to meet with a local historian. Pass by Rio Iô Grande before continuing to Boca do Inferno – a natural blowhole. Before continuing your exploration, stop to enjoy a Creole-fusion lunch and traditional performance at a local restaurant or plantation house.
São Tomé is also an ornithologist’s paradise. During an afternoon birding tour hope to see some of São Tomé’s native flora (700 species including a hundred orchids) as ypi search for the 143 bird species that have been identified here including rare endemic species like the São Tomé short tail, São Tomé giant sun bird, and São Tomé fiscal shrike.
Day 13 Príncipe , São Tomé and Príncipe
Today’s destination is, amazingly enough, a place that still has barely been changed by its 5,000 inhabitants or the outside world. With its tropical climate, rugged landscape of soaring volcanic peaks, exotic plants and animals, clear waters and perfect palm-fringed beaches, it’s very easy to feel like the first explorer to ever set foot on the island!
The island of Príncipe is a great place to go hiking. 70% of the island is still covered by primary forest where up to 20% of trees, orchids and birds are said to be endemic. Take a nature walk with expert local guides and your own Expedition Team naturalists and experience Principe’s extraordinary landscape up close.
The Expedition Team will also offer water-based explorations such as snorkelling and kayaking. Of course lying on a beautiful beach whilst enjoying a refreshing tropical drink might just be the perfect way to spend your time on Principe.
Day 14 Kribi, Cameroon
Cameroon has the oldest rainforest on the continent and some of the most diverse populations to be found in any African country. This morning anchor off Kribi in the southern region of Cameroon. Soon after stepping out of our Zodiacs, embark on an exploration of the Lobe River. Using traditional dug out canoes, your guides and boatsmen will row upriver to Baguieli Village, where you will meet the forest-dwelling pygmy people of the region.
Before enjoying lunch ashore at a local beach resort, visit Lobe Falls, one of the few waterfalls in the world that falls straight into the ocean. Birders will delight in your afternoon birding excursion on the Lobe River before heading back to the Silver Explorer just after sunset.
Day 15 Limbe, Cameroon
For your second full day in this amazing country Zodiac ashore to visit Limbe in the northern region at the foot of Mt. Cameroon. Your first stop for the day is the Limbe Botanical Gardens founded by a group of Germans in 1892. It served as a trials and acclimatisation center for the introduction of exotic crop species such as coffee, cocoa, rubber, oil palm, banana, teak and sugar-cane for distribution within "Kamerun" and other German colonies. And in its heyday was said to be one of the most important tropical botanic gardens in the world.
In the late morning gather at the “Jungle Village” for a cultural presentation of various dances from all over Cameroon. Cameroonians are famed for their skilled wooden carvings including masks, and the ilver Explorer has arranged for various craftsmen to come to display and sell their goods today. This is a truly unique opportunity to purchase some fantastic souvenirs.
Before lunch on board, visit the Limbe Wildlife Center. This is home to a variety of critically endangered wildlife species and you will have the opportunity to see a variety of primate species including ellioti chimpanzee, drill monkey, western lowland and Cross River gorillas, plus several species of long-tailed monkeys such as the locally endemic Preuss’s guenon. During a short lecture learn more about the center’s wonderful work as well as their struggles and successes in educating the local population on the importance of conservation. After lunch a shuttle bus service will take you for a short visit to Mile 6 beach, where you can see the remains of the 1999 Mt. Cameroon volcanic eruption.
Day 16 At Sea
This leisurely day at sea is yours to enjoy. Participate in discussions and onboard activities led by the Expedition Team, relax in one of the lounges with that book you’ve been meaning to read, and meet up with new friends for cocktails.
Day 17 Cotonou, Benin
Dock this morning at Cotonou, Benin referred to by many as the ‘Latin Quarter of Africa’. After receiving clearance from the local authorities, head out on tour to Ouidah, a town typically and profoundly African. Ouidah is known as the religious capital of the country due to the numerous festivals with singing, chanting, drumming and dances that take place here. These celebrations bear witness to a tradition of beliefs and local superstitions interpreted over hundreds of years.
Historically, Ouidah was one of the busiest of the West African slave embarkation points. Along with Gorée Island in Senegal and the village of Juffure in the Gambia River, Ouidah is an important reminder of the slave trade that occurred along the West Africa shores. Walk along the “Route des Esclaves” down to the shoreline where there is an imposing arch with bas-relief sculpture to memorialise the people who were shipped out from here.
After lunch at a local beach resort, travel to Lake Nokoue where you will board small motorboats to visit a fishing village built on stilts. Ganvié village is made up of bamboo houses resting on teak stilts, perched above the water. The village is scattered and all travel between homes is done in wooden boats on the waterways that separate them. Have the chance to see the floating market and boatloads of chattering children heading to and from school. The welcoming Tofinu people like to show off their fishing skills.
Day 18 Lome, Togo
Dock early in the morning and head out to explore the lush Plateaux Region north of Lome. The destination is Kpalime, situated nearby Mount Agou, the highest point in Togo. Here meet a local etymologist and his team for an educational walk in the Kloto Forest, during which you will identify many of the endemic birds and butterflies and learn about the local usage of plants.
During lunch in the forest, friends from Kouma Village will introduce you to the local Ewa culture with a performance of traditional song and dance. On the return journey to Lome, stop at the Centre Artisanal de Kpalime, where local artisans will demonstrate their skills, teach you more about batik, and offer their craftwork for purchase. Next stop is at a bush school in a traditional Ewa village where you will meet the teacher and school children. Learn about the difficulties and importance of education in these rural areas. Once back in Lome, enjoy local entertainment by traditional dancers later this evening on board the Silver Explorer.
Day 19 Tema (Accra), Ghana
After breakfast, disembark the Silver Explorer.
Itinerary NotesPlease Note:
Cruise fare does not include port taxes. Please contact us for details.
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, seas and wildlife activity.
Deposit & Payment
Initial deposit is 30%, 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/fourways.php
Final payment is due 130 days prior to departure.
Final payment by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Diners Club 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.
|Days Prior to departure||Fee|
|121 days or more||$300|
|120-91 days||20% cruise cost|
|90-46 days||55% cruise cost|
|45-31 days||80% cruise cost|
|30-0 days||100% cruise cost|
- Ship Highlights
- Passengers : 132
- Luxury Expedition Ship
Embark on a luxurious expedition to the best far-flung destinations in the world aboard Silver Explorer (formerly known as the Prince Albert II), a purpose-built expedition cruise ship unlike any other. Designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both the Arctic and Antarctica waters, the 6,072-ton vessel boasts a strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger ships. With eight Zodiac boats, her 132 privileged guests can visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations. Experience the thrill of a true expedition aboard the Silver Explorer. Venture deep into regions where other vessels cannot go whilst enjoying a privileged lifestyle that is simply second-to-none.
Onboard, savor a convivial cosmopolitan ambiance and many special amenities usually found only on larger ships, including a spacious Library with an Internet Café, boutique shopping, a full-service spa, beauty salon, fitness center, sauna and two top-deck whirlpools. The Silver Explorer even features live evening entertainment and The Humidor, where connoisseurs can enjoy the finest cigars and cognacs — diversions offered by no other expedition ship.
All Ocean-view Accommodation
The largest average size accommodation of any expedition ship, each with private bath and an elegant ambiance of unrivaled luxury.
Complimentary Beverages Served
Choose from a premium selection of fine wines, champagnes, spirits, bottled water and soft drinks — all with the ship's compliments.
Besides the chilled bottle of champagne that awaits you, every accommodation includes a beverage cabinet stocked with your preferred assortment of beverages.
All onboard gratuities are included — none are ever expected.
Open Seating: when and with whom you dine is up to you. Gourmet menu's are provided by a preferred culinary partner. Enjoy delicious cuisine in casual resort attire - no tuxedos or formal evening dress required.
Complimentary 24-Hour Room Service
Late-night snack or full breakfast, lunch or dinner delivered at your request — with no charge and no tipping.
Complimentary, Hosted Adventures Ashore
Unearth fascinating dimensions of culture, adventure, history, science and the environment through a diverse collection of complimentary shoreside experiences and distinctive onboard events. Travel and interact with leading explorers, notable scholars, renowned authors, photographers and destination aficionados at your side as you learn the nuances of these exotic environments.
Open Bridge Policy
Visits are welcome 24 hours a day except when in port and weather permitting.
Guest Capacity: 132
Length: 354 Feet
Width: 52 Feet
Speed: 14 Knots
Passenger Decks: 5
Register: 1A Ice-Class
6 cabins on Deck 3, 180 sq. feet, Twin or Queen beds, 2 portholes.
4 cabins on Deck 4, Twin or Queen beds, 180 sq. feet with view window.
12 suites on Deck 3, 230 sq. feet with view window, Twin or Queen beds.
16 suites on Deck 4, 194 - 230 sq. feet with large window, Twin or Queen beds.
8 suites on Deck 5, 215 sq. feet with French balcony, Twin or Queen beds.
4 suites on Deck 3, 430 sq. feet with 2 view windows, Twin or Queen beds.
2 suites on Deck 7, 358 sq. feet with private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.
6 suites on Deck 5, 430 sq. feet with 2 French balconies, Twin or Queen beds.
2 suites on Deck 7, 650 sq. feet with large private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.
2 suites on Deck 7, 540 sq. feet with large private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.