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Enjoy the clear blue waters of the Canary Islands

Islands of the Atlantic Ridge: Brazil to the Azores

Example 24 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Endurance
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On this ocean voyage, enjoy the rare chance to explore fascinating islands, oases of wilderness and sites of intriguing history, isolated by vast expanses of ocean. Shaped by their seafaring visitors over the centuries, each island group offers a unique experience, with distinctive wildlife, culture, and landscapes. Set sail from Brazil and cruise across the Atlantic to the Portuguese Azores. Along the way, stop in the Fernando de Noronha islands to spot dolphins, sea turtles, and seabirds; cross the equator and explore the stunning volcanic landscapes of Cape Verde; hike the forested mountains of the Canary Islands for stunning views of the sea; and get a taste of the delights of Madeira. This journey offers an unforgettable experience of a variety of islands, and a peek at the history of the age of exploration.
Beaches of Cape Verde IslandsStroll along the coast in MadeiraPelourinho in Salvador, BahiaSunset at Fernando de NoronhaGolden hour viewsExplore the beautiful AzoresExplore the beautiful AzoresEnjoy the clear blue waters of the Canary Islands
Highlights
  • Experience amazing islands with knowledgeable naturalist guides
  • Explore remote islands with distinctive cultures, cuisines, and landscapes
  • Spot dolphins, sea turtles, and countless bird species at protected islands
  • Learn the history of the Atlantic slave trade at the Cape Verde Islands
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Salvador, Brazil

Arrive in Salvador, renowned for its exuberant atmosphere. Settle into our hotel in the historic Pelourinho district. Meet your fellow travelers at our welcome dinner and enjoy a musical performance.

Day 2: Salvador | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning check out of the hotel and set off to explore the city. Salvador’s brilliantly hued center is a living museum of 17th- and 18th-century architecture. Explore the Pelourinho, a UNESCO Site; or choose to hear local music, visit a sea turtle preservation site, or a social project assisting street children. After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, embark on the National Geographic Endurance.

Day 3: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy the National Geographic Endurances many amenities as we spend the day at sea. Soak in the ship’s infinity-style outdoor hot tubs, take in panoramic views from the rooftop observation deck, and enjoy talks from our onboard experts and learn about the amazing wildlife and geology that we will see on our journey.

Day 4-6: Fernando de Noronha

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Fernando de Noronha archipelago is a UNESCO site recognized for its rich marine life and a large concentration of breeding tropical seabirds. Pending official permission, enjoy two days exploring its beaches, birdlife, and rich marine life, with a special visit to the TAMAR turtle research project. Opt to hike, swim, and snorkel in its rich surrounding waters or take a visit to the remains of the 1738 Dos Remédios fortress. Go on a boat excursion to Dolphins Bay to watch spinner dolphins—their acrobatics are renowned, and there is no better place to see them than Fernando de Noronha.

Day 7: Equator Crossing | St. Peter & Paul Archipelago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The day begins at sea as we make our way into the northern hemisphere. Crossing the Equator we sail towards our destination - St. Peter & Paul rocks. Sitting along the Atlantic ridge, this small outcropping of rocks just breaks the surface of the ocean. Officially claimed by Brazil, this archipelago is geologically fascinating and home to sea birds and a few researchers. Take a Zodiac cruise through the rocks to see the earth’s mantle up close.

Day 8-9: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Choose from an array of shipboard activities. Attend a photo workshop with our National Geographic photographer, enjoy a performance of live music, or treat yourself to a massage or a wellness class.

Day 10-12: Cape Verde Islands

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
The spectacular mountainous volcanic islands of Cape Verde comprise one of the world’s smallest independent nations. See impressive landscapes on Santo Antão: terraced hillsides, eucalyptus forests, and deep valleys. Visit the island of Fogo and add volcano-gazing to your life list. We drive 5,000 feet up the volcano to sample the local wine at its source: inside the caldera!

Day 13-14: At Sea | Cross the Tropic of Cancer

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Visit the ship’s Bridge as we sail northward across the Tropic of Cancer. Soak up the views from one of the observation decks and attend engaging presentations on a range of subjects, from 15th-century Portuguese and Spanish navigators to talks from our marine biologists on the amazing navigation skills of the cetaceans who travel these waters.

Day 15-17: Canary Islands

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Drop anchor in the azure waters of the Canary Islands, which occupied a central place in the history of Atlantic exploration. The larger island of La Palma is known as La Isla Bonita, or “the pretty island,” for its lushly forested mountain slopes set against azure waters. Enjoy a scenic drive up to Mirador de la Concepción, perched on the edge of a crater. Take in fantastic views of the town and harbor below and visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snows, with its fusion of baroque and Spanish-Moorish architecture. On the island of La Gomera, visit a house where Christopher Columbus stayed while his ships were provisioned with supplies, then stretch your legs on a hike in the verdant Garajonay Nacional Park.

Day 18-19: Madeira Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Start the day south of Madeira in the Desertas Archipelago. The small group of volcanic islands have been deemed and nature reserve, helping to protect both the sea and land. The area is a refuge to the Mediterranean monk seal and an array of seabirds. Sail on to enchanting Madeira, a subtropical island abloom in flora. First settled by the Portuguese in 1419, the island’s capital city of Funchal evokes a colonial time capsule with architecture from the 15th through the 19th centuries. Explore its winding streets and culinary delights.

Day 20: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy all that our ship has to offer on this final day at sea as we make our way to the Azores. Spend time on deck with the expedition team as they keep watch over the horizon, searching for the marine creatures and sea birds who feed in this fertile stretch of ocean.

Day 21: Santa Maria, Azores

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the morning with local whale experts who have centuries of ties to their surroundings and an instinct for scouting its wild inhabitants. They will guide us on our morning whale-watching. In the afternoon, we 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 will allow us to experience the scenery and atmosphere of the island.

Day 22: Faial

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Azores are a whale-watching mecca, where more than 20 different types of cetaceans can be spotted. Search for these gentle giants in the channel north of Pico and Horta islands. Once ashore on the island of Faial, head to Capelinhos, to 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 Café Sport, a legendary pub where sea adventurers historically dropped off their mail.

Day 23: São Miguel

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
São Miguel combines the breathtaking landscapes of Hawaii with the charm and culture of old-world Europe. 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. Next, we will have a tasting of Azorean cuisine. Savor a traditional cozido lunch, naturally cooked from the volcanic activity—underground!

Day 24: Ponta Delgada, Azores | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Disembark in Ponta Delgada, the charming capital of the Azores Archipelago. Spend the morning touring the old town – stopping at the impressive Museum of Carlos Machado to discover the varied history of the islands. Enjoy lunch before transferring to the airport and homeward flights

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Endurance

Bar
Dining Room
Reception area

Salvador - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$27,910
Cabin
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Category 1
Located on the Fore Deck. 183 square ft room with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair, private bathroom, tv, Wi-Fi and hair dryers
Cabin
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Category 2
Located on the Fore Deck. 205 square ft. room with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair, private bathroom, tv, Wi-Fi and hair dryers.
Cabin
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Category 3
Located on the Main Deck. 205 square ft. suite with balcony, sofa, private bathroom, tv, Wi-Fi and hair dryers
Cabin
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Category 4
Located on the Lounge Deck. 205 square ft. suite with balcony, sofa, private bathroom, tv, Wi-Fi and hair dryers
Cabin
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Category 5
Located on the Bridge Deck. 205 square ft. suite with balcony, sofa, private bathroom, tv, Wi-Fi and hair dryers
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Category 6
Located on the Bridge Deck. 344 square ft suite with large balcony, sofa bed, private bathroom, tv, Wi-Fi and hair dryers
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Category 7
Located on the Bridge Deck. 430 square ft. suite with large balcony, sofa bed, bathtub, walk-in closet, private bathroom, tv, Wi-Fi and hair dryers
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Category A Solo
Located on the Main Deck. 140 square ft. suite with balcony, sofa, private bathroom, tv, Wi-Fi and hair dryers
Cabin
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Category B Solo
Located on the Lounge Deck. 140 square ft. suite with balcony, sofa, private bathroom, tv, Wi-Fi and hair dryers

Notes

What's Included

Aboard ship
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages*
  • Your bar tab and all crew gratuities are included in the voyage price on all National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, and National Geographic Orion voyages. Please call for details.
  • Your bar tab and WiFi** are included in the voyage price on all National Geographic Islander or National Geographic Endeavour II voyages. Please call for details.
  • Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
  • 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand (soda not included on Lord of the Glens)
  • Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
  • Fitness center or exercise equipment, depending on the ship
  • Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
  • The guidance and company of our expedition staff
  • The services of a physician on certain ships/destinations
Ashore
  • Hotels ashore as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals on land, as indicated in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees
  • Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • The expertise of our expedition staff
Activities
  • All excursions
  • Zodiac & kayak explorations
  • Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
  • Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge
*Alcoholic beverages are included on the National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Orion, National Geographic Endurance, Sea Cloud, and Lord of the Glens; certain super-premium brands are not included.


What's Not Included

Airfare
  • International and internal airfare
Pre- and post-expedition
  • Additional hotel nights
  • Private transfers
  • Travel Protection Plan
  • Passport, visa, and immigration fees
  • Expedition extensions
  • Gratuities
Aboard ship
  • Alcoholic beverages (except aboard Sea Cloud, Lord of the Glens, National Geographic Orion, National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Islander and National Geographic Endeavour II); certain super-premium brands not included
  • Spa treatments
  • Gratuities (except aboard Sea Cloud, National Geographic Orion,  National Geographic Endurance & National Geographic Explorer)
  • Scuba diving
  • Laundry
  • Internet and phone
  • Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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