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Windmill on Lanzarote

Cape Verde and Canary Islands

Dakar to Lisbon - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard L'Austral
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Discover the cultures and traditions of Cape Verde, Spain, and Senegal on this enticing and relaxing 11-day journey aboard luxurious L'Austral. Your cruise takes you to all of the major cultural highights along this route, including Santiago, São Vicente, and Mindelo. You'll also spend some time in the idyllic Canary Islands and the iconic volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote. Enjoy the spring-like climate of Madeira and the rich history and brilliant architecture of Vegueta. Your journey concludes in the charming capital of Portugal - Lisbon. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Dakar, Senegal | Embark
Day 2 : At Sea
Day 3 : Praia, Santiago
Day 4 : Mindelo, Sao Vicente
Days 5-6 : At Sea
Day 7 : Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
Day 8 : El Arrecife, Lazarote
Day 9 : Funchal, Madeira
Day 10 : At Sea
Day 11 : Lisbon, Portugal | Disembark

Highlights

  • Visit Dakar in Senegal and Goree Island, the memorial to the slave trade
  • Admire Mindelo's elegant buildings, influenced by its colonial heritage
  • Explore Cidade Velha the historic center of Ribeira Grande listed by UNESCO
  • Enjoy Lisbon, the Portuguese capital and its rich cultural offering

Ship

L'Austral

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Panoramic photo of beach in Senegal Colorful African pirogue canoes on the beach in Dakar Beaches of Cape Verde Islands Windmill on Lanzarote Colorful towns of the Canary Islands

Day 1 Dakar, Senegal | Embark

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 wins you over with its richly diverse districts, appealing cultural scene, and rich natural surroundings. In the historic center, enjoy the pell-mell of colors 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 center on the African coast. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you are looking for pristine, unspoiled nature, the wildlife in the heart of Madeleine Islands' national park never disappoints.

Day 2 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they are able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3 Praia, Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 harbor, the statue of Diogo Gomes pays homage to the man who discovered Cape Verde in 1460. A few streets away, in the old center, the Ethnographic Museum presents the diversity of the archipelago’s cultural origins. It's the historical building with transom windows is one of the city’s more unusual curiosities.

Optional Excursions: 

PRAIA AND CIDADE VELHA

Welcome to the biggest and most African island of the Cape Verde islands. Dive into the new capital of Praia and discover the contrast of history, complimented with a modern atmosphere. After a walking tour on the historical center of Praia, embark on your coach for a scenic drive to the UNESCO World Heritage of “Cidade Velha”, 30-minute drive, the original capital of the islands and the hub of the slave trade. Visit the ruined Real do Sao Filipe Fort which overlooks the town. It was built in 1590 to protect Ribeira Grande following a devastating attack by Francis Drake. This defense proved to be inadequate and in 1712 the city was sacked by French Pirate, Jacques Cassart. In Cidade Velha, you can still discover the remnants of the first Portuguese settlers, visit its Cathedral, the Rua Banana, and Pelourinho, the 16th-century pillory. Just off the quaint cobblestone street, enjoy a drink while a traditional Batuco dancing group enchants you with the beat of drums. Having tasted the soul of this island you can make your way back to the Praia port and your ship.

THE COUNTRYSIDE

From the pier, embark your coach for the 30-minute scenic drive to Ruiz Vaz. The scenic and winding route allows you to see the steep mountains, green valleys, and small villages. This volcanic island offers an impressive panel of colors. Photo stops are made en route. On arrival in Ruiz Vaz, enjoy a tea break in the shadow of the tallest mountain on the island, the “Pico da Antonia”. On the way back to your ship, drive again through the greenest valleys via Sao Domingos to the Achada Fazenda, where you can see the agricultural plantations that now thrives in this area. 

Day 4 Mindelo, Sao Vicente

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Set on the shores of the Porto Grande bay on the north-west coast of São Vicente, Mindelo is considered to be Cape Verde's cultural capital. Here in singer Cesaria Evora's homeland, you can listen to real morna in the bars of the old town, where you can also sip the local grog, a Cape Verdian sugarcane spirit. A few streets from the elegant floating resort of Pont d'água you can see the pastel-colored houses and colonial buildings of the historical district. Other landmarks are the facades of the old Governor's Palace and the busy municipal market.

Optional Excursions: 

VOLCANIC ISLAND & MINDELO

From the pier, board your coach and drive to the interior of the 88 square miles (227 km²) small island. Water is very rare so Sao Vicente's landscape is sparse. The island seduces with the Atlantic’s rough beaches and a charming colorful town known as the cultural capital of the country. Driving up the windy roads to the top of the highest mountain Monte Verde, you can appreciate the diverse colors that all these rocks and stones on the island can offer.
From the top, it is possible to oversee most parts of the island: the city of Mindelo, long yellow sandy beaches glued to black volcanic rocks and the “Baia das Gatas” Bay with its turquoise water, very famous for its yearly music festival bringing great parts of the country together.
Continue the tour by driving down the windy roads, again making your way towards the coastal road that links Baia das Gatas and Calhau. Stopping at the local favorite beach Praia Grande, you can walk on the sand, appreciate the sound of the rough Atlantic waves, and taste some local sugar cane liquor called rogue.
Heading back towards Mindelo, drive through the formerly important agricultural area of the island, which nowadays inhabits little agricultural production due to the absence of precipitation. Back in Mindelo, be given a quick overview with a visit of the fish market, before exploring the town on your own during some free time.

MINDELO BY FWD VEHICLE

From the pier, embark your four-wheel-drive vehicle (FWD) and cross the untouched nature. Drive along a beach, 1-mile drive, from the north to the south coasts of the island, to Palha Carga. During this drive, stop at Assomada to take a photo from the highest point of view of the island.
After enjoying a stop in a black sandy beach and passing the agricultural valley of Ribeira de Calhau, your next stop is inside the small Crater of Topic. On the crater, you may observe ospreys (fishing eagles) and runner birds.
After that, re-embark on your FWD and you round the crater Viana, before enjoying the beauty of the turquoise waters and white sand of the beach of Saraga.
Along the coast, some natural caves formed at the end of a lava flow. You can see the crater Viana on your left and the view of Santa Luzia on your right. With some luck, find some ospreys.
Continue your journey with the visit of the fishermen village of Calhau and its colorful wooden sailing boasts, before handing back to the ship.

Day 5-6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
During your days 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 center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they are able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 7 Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A stopover in sunny climes, Las Palmas is located on the north-east coast of Gran Canaria. A few streets away from Puerto de la Luz port, discover the vast Las Canteras beach, bordered with the town’s characteristic palms. Find these palms are all over Las Palmas, in the streets and squares, especially on the Plaza de Santa Ana in the heart of the historical district. It feels like you’ve traveled back in time here, as you stand to look at the tall houses beside the Santa Ana Cathedral. Very close by, you can visit the  Casa de Colón, a museum dedicated to the famous explorer. The museum is housed in the palace belonging to the island’s former governor. Chances are, you can be drawn to the covered Vegueta market to partake in some daily life along with the locals and taste some unfamiliar dishes.

Optional Excursions: 

LAS PALMAS CITY TOUR

From the pier, board your coach for a short drive to Vegueta, the oldest quarter of Las Palmas, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1990. Get into the history and travel back in the time of the Conquerors, the Portuguese, the Dutchman and the pirates during your walking tour. Start your journey at the place where the city was founded at the end of the 15th century, originating from a Castilian military encampment. Only a few meters away, you can find the Plaza Santa Ana with its entrance guarded by bronze statues of dogs, symbolizing the legendary canines found on this island. During your inside visit to the cathedral, discover the history behind a handmade painting at one of its walls.
Then, visit one of the city's main museums, the Columbus House, where you can admire a large collection of nautical exhibits and information about this famous explorer. Your walking tour ends in the district of Triana. If Vegueta transports you to the middle ages, the Triana quarter is more bourgeois and you can see many shops and nice little bars. Enjoy some free time for shopping or discover the district on your own. Before returning to your ship, stop at the Altavista viewing point to take some photos of the town and the harbor.

HIKING TOUR FIRGAS & AZUAJE

From the pier, board your coach for a 15-minute drive through the north of the island to the village of Firgas. This nice little village is well-known for its many water sources. Before starting your hiking tour,  visit the old water mill where you can attend a demonstration of grinding the corn and preparing the gofio (toasted maize flour).
After this short visit, go to the Forest of Doramas, an authentic Laurel forest, aged more than 500 years, which covers the whole north of the island. See the ruins of an old thermal baths hotel which was very popular during the 20th century, thanks to its water with healing properties.
During your hiking tour discover the beautiful landscapes along waterfalls and mountains. A rustic picnic is included. Before returning to your ship,  go to Firgas and taste typical Canarian tapas with a refreshment.

ESSENCE OF GRAN CANARIA

From the pier, board your coach for a 45-minute drive to Terror, a charming town with whitewashed houses, red tiled roofs, ornately carved balconies and patios hidden behind large wooden doors. During your walking tour, witness the ambiance of this town by strolling along the cobblestoned streets. Visit one of the most famous churches in Gran Canaria, the Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pino. Next, continue to Arucas, where you can have a photo stop at the Cathedral of Arucas. Looking at this neo-Gothic church with its stark white walls and vibrantly stained glass windows, you may think that she was built centuries ago during the medieval age. Be surprised to learn that this church was built at the beginning of the 20th century, from 1909 to 1917, with volcanic stones only. Arucas is famous for its numerous landscaped parks and gardens. Visit the Marquesa's Garden, with its extensive collection of Canarian and tropical plants, which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. After some explanations, have some free time to discover this garden on your own. Enjoy Canarian tapas in this relaxing place before returning to you to the ship, 45-minute drive.

Day 8 El Arrecife, Lazarote

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Established on a coast sprinkled with cliffs, Arrecife has a pleasant beach and a lagoon full of charm, Charca of San Ginés, where the fishermen anchor their boats. The city also proposes places fed by history and culture, such as the castle San Gabriel, former fort of defense of the city.

Optional Excursions: 

FIRE MOUNTAINS

From the pier, your coach drives you to the southern part of the island, passing by picturesque villages and crossing black lava streams until you reach “Los Hervideros”, where the sea water seems to boil in a volcanic cave (photo stop). On your way to the National Park, reach the Fire Mountains, a natural museum of unique beauty. Bizarre craters, streams of lava and fields of ashes are mixed here with a nearly unrealistic lunar landscape, all these formed during the last eruption in the 18th century. On the hill of the “Islote de Hilario” and through the experiments, learn about the still existing heat power. The geothermal energy is so strong that water fountains gush up, dry weed catches fire within seconds and a natural grill works with the heat of the earth below. As a continuation, take a route called “Lunar Route,” inside the heart of the National Park. Here you can learn about the history of the volcanic eruptions and see how slowly the life conquers the inhospitable landscape with rare plants.
Continue to the wine region of La Geria. Vineyards dot the landscape with the vines, protected by semi-circular stone walls, making them look more like art than agriculture. At La Geria area, the locals had to adapt the wine growing techniques for centuries, in order to preserve the grapes from natural elements and provide a special cultivation, to produce the now famous Malvasia wines. As a result, grapes grown inside volcanic holes provide a spectacular scenario.

JAMEOS DEL AGUA & MIRADOR DEL RIO

From the pier, embark your coach for the 1-hour scenic drive to the picturesque village of Haria. Thanks to the local humidity, Haria is known as the “valley of a thousand palms,” and is surrounded by lush green fields and colorful meadows. Whitewashed houses, shady palms, and tropical flowers line its narrow streets.
You will then continue to Mirador del Rio, Lanzarote's most famous viewpoint. From the balustraded café or the vantage point of the balcony, you can have some of the most breath-taking views of the entire archipelago. Standing 500 meters above sea level, you can see the entire northern coastline, the straits of El Rio and Las Salinas del Rio, the island's oldest salt plains which have been used since Roman times.
Next, you can reboard your coach and travel to Los Jameos del Agua. Upon arrival, climb down a stone staircase into the first cave known as Jameo Chico. From there you can continue along a pathway crossing a lake filled with tiny albino crabs, a rare and delicate marine crustacean. Following the footpath, reach Jameo Grande, a huge open-air cave lined with tropical plants and a splendid turquoise pool. From here, drive back to the pier passing by the Malpais de la Corona, a wide plain of weather-beaten lava stone. Through the years, singular vegetation unfolded itself, which added a special charm to this otherwise poor and dry landscape.

ART OF MANRIQUE

From the pier, embark your coach for the north-easterly coastal drive to the village of Guatiza. There you can visit the Cactus Garden, where the most famous local artist Cesar Manrique converted a former quarry into a beautiful park hosting more than 1,400 species of cactuses from all over the world.
Designed as an architectonic artwork beautifully integrated with the landscape, this cactarium is an amphitheater with terraces made of volcanic stones, planted with more than 10,000 cactuses. At the center of the park, two original constructions house a café and a small shop. Continue to Tahiche village where you can visit the Cesar Manrique Foundation, hosted in Manrique’s former house. 
Finally, you can proceed to Arrecife, the principal town on the island, for a visit to the Castle of San José, which houses the Museum International of Contemporary Art. The museum is situated in the ancient cellar of this castle, built in 1799 during the reign of Charles III of Spain to defend the island against pirates. Its spacious and elegant gallery houses a fine collection of abstract works, including several by Manrique. Following a short tour of the museum, a snack of local wine and cheese is served in the museum's restaurant overlooking the sea.

Day 9 Funchal, Madeira

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This attractive capital of Madeira is located on the southern coast of the island. The walkways of the old town are lined with azulejos or multi-colored mosaics. If you follow these patterns, they lead you to the appetizing Mercado dos Lavradores market stands, the Frederico de Freitas Museum, and the golden paneling of the Cathedral de la Sé. Along the waterfront, the palm tree-shaded promenade leads you to the teleféricos de Monte, Madeira's cable cars. Its panoramic cabins transport you over the city to top of Monte, where you can see the picturesque botanical garden.

Optional Excursions: 

FUNCHAL & SACRED ART MUSEUM

Leaving the pier and driving through the main area of Funchal, your first stop is the Old Town, one of Funchal’s main tourist hotspots, popular for its historical, architectural, gastronomical and artistic aspects.
Continue by foot with a visit to the local market Mercado dos Lavradores, where an infinite variety of tropical fruits, vegetables, flowers, as well as regional articles can be seen. 
Reboard your coach for a 15-minute drive to the Sacred Art Museum, housed in the old Episcopal Court of Funchal. This building from the 17th century suffered changes throughout time, mainly in the 18th century. It was open to the public as a museum in 1955. There are two distinct sections within the museum: Flemish and Portuguese Art (paintings, sculptures, and jewelry).
After this visit, the tour returns back to your ship.

LEVADA WALK

One of the best ways to see the interior of the island and to get to know Madeira a little better is to walk along one of the footpaths alongside the unique and complex Madeiran irrigation system called levadas. These channels have been dug by hand into the mountainside in the 19th century, to carry water from high up in the mountains down to the fields and villages below.
A leisurely walk through the emerald green paradise valley with captivating views over quaint isolated villages and Camacha. The flower-lined Levada trickles along underneath a canopy of Eucalyptus and Oak trees. Enjoy the abundant flora and patchwork landscape that makes this walk delightful.
You will firstly be taken to Vale Paraiso to begin the first part of the walk - a gentle stroll, mostly on level ground - to Camacha (2,296 feet, 700 m), where a stop will be made for refreshment before doing the second part of the walk to Rochão.

PANORAMIC TOUR & WICKER FACTORY

This tour gives you the opportunity to view some of the scenery which made Madeira renowned. From the pier, board your coach and drive to the eastern part of the island. Your first stop is Ponta do Garajau, which is famous for the statue of Christ the Redeemer, looking at sea with outstretched arms, as well as views over Funchal and the Natural Park of Garajau. From here, drive inland towards the village of Camacha (2,296 ft/700m). Camacha is one of the largest inland villages on the island and is the center of the wicker industry, producing the well-known Madeira wicker-work.
On arrival, visit a wicker factory, see the showrooms and many examples of wickerwork on display. Tea and homemade cake will be served at the end of the visit.
The tour continues, passing through Poiso Pass (1413m 4,308 ft.). The summits of the island's highest peaks, Pico Ruivo (1,862m / 6,104 ft) and Pico do Arieiro (1,818m / 5,937 ft), should be visible if weather permits.
Finally, drive to Terreiro da Luta. At approximately 2670 feet (886m), this town was the terminus of the old funicular railway, by which visitors traveled to the mountain. Terreiro da Luta is famous for its Peace Monument, a large column of rough basalt erected in 1925 and surmounted by a statue of the Virgin and Child.
Finally, return to Funchal passing by the village of Monte.

Day 10 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they are able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 11 Lisbon, Portugal | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Portugal’s capital city located on the banks of the Tagus, only a few kilometers from the Atlantic coast, is a city of exceptionally rich cultural diversity. At the mouth of the river harbor, impose two UNESCO World Heritage monuments, Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower. Sample the local delicacies such as the pasteis de nata—delicious creamy bakery flans. On the Alfama hillside, as you explore the Moorish streets, you may well hear sounds of fado drifting from the bars. Along Chiado’s elegant streets, big fashion labels will entice you for a bit of luxury shopping. Disembark after breakfast and continue your independent trip back home. 

L'Austral

Per person starting at
$4,080
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
8 cabins, 226 sq ft, located on Le Champollion Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area and private bath.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq ft with private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
3 suites, 290 sq ft with 54 sq ft private balcony, located on the Le France Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, desk, minibar, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 6
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owners Suite
484 sq ft with 97 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living, dining areas, private bath with large tub and shower, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD, CD, and IPOD, Video on demand, Satellite phone

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.

Children welcome:
- Flexible, or connecting staterooms
- Baby-sitting service on request
- Children's menus, fun tea parties, games, piano lessons and a host of other activities
- Special kids' rates

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h Room service (special selection)
  • English speaking lecturer 
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Complimentary boot rental on select cruises
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned 
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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