Have questions? We're here.
Elmina Castle Kakum National Park

Crucibles of West Africa

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard SH Vega
Talk with an expert
Build your ideal Africa trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip
Embark on this15-day Crucibles of West Africa cruise from Ghana to Senegal aboard SH Vega. Immerse yourself in vibrant cultures, fascinating history, and wildlife as you cruise along the West African coast. Depart from Tema, with its busy streets and complex past, and visit colorful cities, including Takoradi – with its famous bustling Market Circle – and Freetown, home to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Next, head to the stunning Bijagós Islands with lush mangroves, saltwater hippos, and pygmy cows. Then sail to the beautiful Banjul before reaching Senegal’s capital, Dakar, a cultural destination to end the trip.
Kere Island - Bijagos - Guinea BissauMeio Island - Bijagos - Guinea BissauFreetown and The Place - Sierra LeoneFreetownFreetownElmina Castle Kakum National ParkBanjul - GambiaElmina Castle Kakum National Park
Highlights
  • Explore the British built Fort William, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Discover the historic Elmina Castle, built by the Portuguese in 1482
  • Immerse in Abidjan's thriving arts and music scene
  • Experience Freetown's vibrant Krio architecture and rich heritage
Places Visited
  • Africa
  • West Africa
  • Gambia
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Abidjan
  • Banjul
  • Cape Coast
  • Dakar
  • Freetown
  • Ghana
  • Ivory Coast
  • Liberia
  • Monrovia
  • Takoradi
  • Tema
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
0

Full Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Tema (Accra)

Arrive in Tema, relax, and spend the overnight here preparing for your adventure.

*specific hotel and location to be announced

Day 2: Tema (Accra) | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Sail into the coastal city of Tema, a short drive from Ghana’s buzzing capital, Accra. Once named ‘Africa’s Capital of Cool’ by the New York Times, Accra has become one of West Africa’s top destination cities. Marvel at the towering statues in the city’s Black Star Square, wander through Kwame Nkrumah National Park, the resting place of Ghana’s first prime minister and president, or shop for locally made arts and crafts in the Centre for National Culture.

Day 3-4: Cape Coast (Fort William) | Elmina Point | Takoradi

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The British built Fort William in the 17th century as a trading post for gold and ivory. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist attraction. The fort has been restored and now houses a museum that tells the story of the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on Ghana and the world.

Elmina is a town in Ghana known for its historic castle, Elmina Castle. The Portuguese built the castle in 1482, and it was used as a trading post for gold and ivory. It was later used as a prison and a slave fort. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist attraction.

The twin cities of Sekondi-Takoradi, often called Tadi, are a major commercial hub on Ghana’s deepwater port. There’s a low-key beachfront, a 17th-century Dutch fort, and inland, a frenetic commercial center dominated by Market Circle, the largest market circle in Africa, where you can indulge in everything from coconuts to dried fish and a staple local dish – tangy jollof rice. Further afield, you can see fishing boats in the harbor or watch a traditional drumming ceremony.

Day 5: Abidjan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A city pulsing with energy, this former capital of Côte D’Ivoire is a hub of creativity and innovation. The thriving arts and music scene intertwines with the intoxicating blend of cultures, cuisines, and traditions that define Abidjan. A window into West Africa, the tropical mood that permeates Abidjan is infectious and unforgettable in equal measure. Immerse yourself in the city’s distinct atmosphere, browse the many galleries and markets, and stop at the fascinating National Museum of Abidjan.

Day 6: Day At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to the library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of your onboard lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from your onboard professional photographers.

Day 7: Monrovia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Liberia’s coastal capital was founded in the 1800s as a settlement for formerly enslaved people from North America. The National Museum offers an introduction to the region’s history and art. Today’s bustling city is a mix of architectural styles, lively beaches, and street markets. For a taste of local flavor, explore the jumbled Waterside Market, filled with colorful fabric and crafts, and sample a hearty meat stew with rice.

Day 8: Day At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect chance to relax, unwind and do whatever takes your fancy. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, trying to spot a whale from the deck, reading a chapter or two, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to the green days spent exploring on land.

Day 9: Freetown

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sierra Leone’s portside capital city occupies a major position in history as the home of formerly enslaved people from North America and Britain. Sites like Cotton Tree and the King’s Yard Gate symbolize the town’s sombre past. Freetown today is a diverse city with a rich heritage – colorful Krio architecture, hearty, rice-based cuisine, and lively beaches. Stop by the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary to visit rescued, endangered primates in a rainforest.

Day 10: Day At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today as you sail, you’ll bask in the endless comforts of your ship. From the deck, marvel at the dramatic sea views. Relax with a nurturing facial treatment or massage in the spa or delve into the ship’s learning resources. Or, simply take refuge in your cabin and enjoy the opportunity to rest.

Day 11-12: Bijagos Archipelago

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Off the coast of Guinea-Bissau lie 88 islands – most of them uninhabited – covered in mangroves and mudflats, savannah, and palm forests. The remote Bijagos archipelago is a protected biosphere reserve, known as the home of the rare saltwater hippo, as well as migratory birds and pygmy cows. The islands remained largely unaffected by colonial influence, resulting in a strong cultural identity with traditional coming-of-age ceremonies like difuntu and fanado still in practice.

Day 13: Banjul

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the meeting point of the Gambia River and the Atlantic Ocean, Gambia’s relaxed capital city sits on a little island filled with colonial buildings and vibrant markets. At the 19th-century Albert Market, you can browse souvenirs and the vibrant traditional clothing of The Gambia’s diverse ethnic groups. For a true taste of local culture, sign up to visit a typical Gambian home or ‘compound’, where local hosts tell you about their heritage as you sip on herbal tea and sample traditional snacks.

Day 14: Dakar

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With fabulous museums, a thriving art scene, and elegant seaside dining, the capital city showcases a rich Senegalese culture and a forward-looking spirit. Discover the city’s traditional side in Medina, a bustling quarter of mosques, tea shops, and street markets. French influences remain in many aspects of city life, from architecture to food. Local mbalax music dominates a vibrant nightlife scene. Traditional crafts like wood carvings and glass paintings are easily found at the Soumbédioune market – the best place to shop for souvenirs.

Day 15: Dakar | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
 Bid farewell to your fellow travelers as you disembark in Dakar today.

Ship/Hotel

SH Vega

SH Vega
SH Vega Club Lounge
SH Vega Club Lounge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Deals

Save 50% Off The Second Guest
Book by February 29, 2024, and save 50% off your second guest on select 2024-2025 departures across all stateroom categories. This promotion is subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other promotion. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Apr 17, 2024 departure

Per person starting at
$17,801
SH Vega Suite OceanViewOceanview
Select a Date
Oceanview D4
19 m2, Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
SH Vega Suite OceanViewOceanview
Select a Date
Oceanview M4
19 m2, Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
Balcony
Select a Date
Balcony D5
28 m2, Located at the forward and aft of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedrooms with a living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Balcony
Select a Date
Balcony M5
28 m2, Located at the center of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedrooms with a living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Balcony
Select a Date
Balcony D6
28 m2, Located on deck six, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
SH Vega SuitePremium suitePremium Suite
Select a Date
Suite
44 m2, Our Suites features a super king bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
SH Vega Suite PremiumSH Vega Suite PremiumPremium suitePremium Suite
Select a Date
Premium Suite
49 m2, Our grandest suites feature a super king bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, a spacious walk-in wardrobe, and a 12 sq.m private balcony.

Notes

At Swan Hellenic, we want to ensure your experience with us is an effortless experience, leaving you to make the most from your expedition, which is why we have included the following within your cruise fare:
 
  • One Night pre-cruise accommodations with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or Onboard
  • All transfers between Airport, Hotel and Ship
  • Room service 24 hours a day
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks & select alcoholic beverages 24 hours a day
  • Lecture programs by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • Standard WIFI inclusion
  • Onboard gratuities & port taxes
  • One shore excursion per port of call

Additional inclusion for: Antarctica & Arctic
  • Use of Rubber boots for shore landings
  • Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka
  • Flights included roundtrip Buenos Aires - Ushuaia
Included
  • 14 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Room Service 
  • Wifi
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
  • Lecture programs by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • Onboard gratuities & port taxes
  • Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions.
  • All transfers between Airport, Hotel and Ship
  • One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • We recommend every traveler to take out a travel cancellation insurance, travel interruption insurance and a travel health insurance policy with an assumption of the return transport costs of repatriation

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

Africa Travel Links

Inquire

* By providing your phone number, you consent to receive direct phone calls or SMS messages from our Trip Planners to get the process started. We do not share your information with third-parties.
Travel Agents

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

Africa Travel Guide

Favorite Africa All Trips

More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By