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SH Diana - 192 Guests

UNSPOILT WILDS OF SOUTHWEST AFRICA

Luanda to Accra

Leaving from Angola, this incredible voyage takes you along the Atlantic coast to Ghana, stopping at some of the least-visited parts of Africa. Experience pristine, biodiverse shorelines that harbor volcanic islands, mangrove forests, rainforests, and lagoons. Look out for elephants, lowland gorillas, leopards, hippos and chimpanzees as you explore. And meet the people of West Africa, diving deeper into cultures where voodoo is a state religion.


 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sample traditional cuisine and get to know the Congolese locals at Grand Marché market
  • Learn about conservation efforts in Congo’s biodiverse Conkouati Reserve
  • Keep an eye out for forest elephants and buffalos, lowland gorillas and chimpanzees in Gabon’s South Loango National Park
  • Sneak a peek at animal skins, skulls and talismans in the world’s oldest voodoo market

DATES / RATES

Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Apr 07, 2025Apr 20, 20256,506 7,080
Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Apr 07, 2025Apr 20, 20256,506 7,080
Seven Seti scientist are scheduled for Swan Hellenic’s 2023 cultural expeditions cruises.

Dr. David Grinspoon

Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, SETI Institute Science Advisory Board Member

Accompanying: SH Vega, Unspoilt Wilds of Southwest Africa, 3 – 16 April 2023
David is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, prize-winning author and scientist with several interplanetary spacecraft missions, including NASA’s DAVINCI mission to Venus. In 2013, he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress. David’s lecture topics will be “An Astrobiology perspective on Our Place in Planetary History,” “Mission to Venus: The Past, Present and Future Exploration of Earth’s Twin Planet,” and “Searching for Life and Intelligence Beyond Earth”.

ITINERARY

CRUISE ID: D3725040713

LUANDA
DAY 1
As Angola emerges from colonial rule and a long Civil War, its capital, Luanda, is evolving into a forward-looking city with a rich heritage. Landmarks include Gustave Eiffel's Iron Palace and the 16th-century São Miguel Fortress. Luanda's historic upper town, Cidade Alta, features pink colonial buildings, the Presidential Palace and ministerial houses. Ilha do Cabo shows Luanda's modern side with trendy seaside restaurants and bars.

DAY AT SEA
DAY 2
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.

POINTE-NOIRE
DAY 3-5
The Republic of Congo’s second city, Pointe-Noire, unfolds as a piece of French Africa with distinct European and African quarters. Strolling through the lively La Cité reveals traditional Congolese cuisine and the vibrant Grand Marché, providing a glimpse into local life. Waterfront restaurants line Côté Sauvage, a laid-back city beach. Beyond the city limits is the stunning Diosso Gorge, a natural canyon in hues of pink, red and orange.

SHORE EXCURSIONS
  • UPGRADE - POINTE NOIRE, AFRICAN CIRCLE MUSEUM AND MAKOLA SALT GLACIER (WITH LUNCH BOX)  Optional 09 h 00 m
  • NATURAL WONDERS OF CONGO: MAYOMBE FOREST AND NDINGA NDINGA WATERFALL Optional 10 h 00 m
  • CHIMPANZEES FEEDING AT CONKOUATI-DOULI NATIONAL PARK (HALF DAY OPTION) Optional 05 h 45 m
  • CHIMPANZEES FEEDING (HALF DAY OPTION) Optional 05 h 45 m
  • DIOSSO GORGES AND HIKE Optional 04 h 30 m
  • DISCOVERY OF POINTE NOIRE AND AFRICAN CIRCLE MUSEUM Included 03 h 30 m
  • LAKES AND TCHINDA FISHING VILLAGE Optional 07 h 00 m
  • A DAY AT CONKOUATI-DOULI NATIONAL PARK (FULL DAY OPTION INCL. CHIMPANZEES FEEDING) Optional 12 h 00 m
  • DISCOVERY OF POINTE NOIRE AND AFRICAN CIRCLE MUSEUM (GUESTS ON THE OVERALND TOUR ) Included 12 h 00 m
  • NATURAL WONDERS OF CONGO: MAYOMBE Optional 10 h 00 m'
MAYONAMI, NYANGA RIVER
DAY 6
The traditional Gabonese village of Mayonomi sits among mangroves along the Nyanga river. The fishing village serves as a base for exploring the rainforests and mangroves. Gliding along the river in a pirogue (a type of long, narrow canoe made from a single tree trunk), visitors might get a chance to glimpsing local life and see wildlife along the banks such as birds, monkeys and maybe even a manatee.

EXPEDITION ACTIVITES
  • ZODIAC CRUISE ON NYANGA RIVER Included 04 h 00 m
DAY AT SEA
DAY 7
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 our library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of our on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from our onboard professional photographers.

LIBREVILLE, BAIE DES TORTUES
DAY 8
Libreville captivates with a blend of French colonial heritage and lively African energy. Along the palm-lined waterfront promenade, vibrant markets and fresh seafood stalls exude an intoxicating vitality. The National Museum unveils Gabon's rich history and culture. A short boat ride away, the island-dotted Baie des Tortues reveals a serene natural sanctuary. Mangrove forests form an intricate green maze, home to exotic birdlife and monkeys.

SHORE EXCURSIONS
  • SAFARI TOUR IN PONGARA NATIONAL PARK Optional 01 h 00 m
  • A DAY AT BAIE DES TORTUES BEACH RESORT Included 01 h 00 m
SAO TOME, SAO TOME
DAY 9
Sao Tome, the Gulf of Guinea's largest volcanic isle, is a tropical idyll with rainforests, beaches and waterfalls. São Tomé city features 15th-century Portuguese architecture and a slave trade history. Rainforests blanket two-thirds of the island, sheltering wildlife like monkeys, birds and reptiles and São Tomé Peak, reaching 2,024 m, provides refuge for island bird species like the ibis and grosbeak.

SHORE EXCURSIONS
  • BIRDS AND NATURE OF SAO TOME Optional 08 h 10 m
  • UPGRADED - SAO TOME CULTURE & HISTORY WITH LUNCH AND CHOCOLATE TASTING Optional 07 h 30 m
SANTO ANTONIO, PRINCIPE
DAY 10
This laid-back, compact capital has less than 3,000 inhabitants and is the smallest city in the world (according to the Guinness Book of Records). Time seems to move more slowly in this dream-like place with its pastel-coloured buildings and salty sea air. The Nossa Senhora da Conceição church contains a beautiful stone carving of St Anthony, the city’s namesake saint.

SHORE EXCURSIONS
  • PRINCIPE CULTURAL TOUR Optional 03 h 50 m
  • A DAY AT SUNDY PRAIA BEACH Included 07 h 00 m
  • PRINCIPE CULTURAL TOUR Optional 07 h 00 m
DAY AT SEA
DAY 11
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.

COTONOU
DAY 12
Benin’s vibrant port city is defined by voodoo (the state religion) and its colonial legacy. As a former French colony, Cotonou retains a certain European flair in its cuisine and architecture. The sprawling Dantokpa market, with local crafts and an entire section of sacred voodoo items, offers insights into local culture. Ganvie, a lakeshore village, is the world’s only town on stilts with bamboo houses, where residents get around in canoes.

SHORE EXCURSIONS
  • GANVIE FLOATING VILLAGE AND EGUNGUN MASKS PERFORMANCE Included 04 h 30 m
  • UPGRADED TOUR - GANVIE FLOATING VILLAGE, EGUNGUN MASKS PERFORMANCE AND OUIDAH Optional 08 h 30 m
LOME
DAY 13
Voodoo traditions, colonial history and beautiful beaches: Togo’s capital city, Lome, is awash with history and culture. The National Museum's exhibits - pottery, masks and art - reflect Togo's rich heritage. Akodessewa Fetish Market is filled with voodoo talismans and animal skins, offering insights into traditional customs. Colonial relics include the German-built Sacred Heart Cathedral and the 1960 Independence Monument.

SHORE EXCURSIONS
  • UPGRADE - RURAL AFRICAN VILLAGE LIFE AND LOME HIGHLIGHTS Optional 08 h 00 m
  • CULTURAL WONDERS OF LOME Included 04 h 30 m
  • UPGRADE - TOGOVILLE, THE VOODOO WORLD AND LOME HIGHLIGHTS Optional 07 h 00 m
TEMA (ACCRA)
DAY 14
Tema is a short drive from Ghana’s fast-paced capital, Accra, a city that's culturally rich, modern and historic all at once. European-built forts and Black Star Independence Square’s public monuments offer a glimpse at the past. The neighbourhood of Jamestown, a 17th-century fishing community with old colonial buildings, is its pulse with an art scene and local bites like waakye­ – rice and beans with sides – at a low-key ‘chop bar’.

EXCURSIONS
  • ACCRA CITY TOUR (FOR GUESTS STAYING ONBOARD FOR THE NEXT CRUISE) Optional 05 h 15 m
  • SHAI HILLS RESERVE (FOR GUESTS STAYING ONBOARD FOR THE NEXT CRUISE) Optional 08 h 00 m
  • CITY TOUR - AIRPORT TRANSFER Optional 08 h 00 m

SH Diana (Luxury Expedition, 192-guests)

The 2023-built SH Diana will be providing elegant and spacious 5-star accommodation for 192 guests in 96 spacious staterooms and suites, the vast majority with large balconies.

(Click image to view Ship details)

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port (via our included accommodation where applicable)
  • One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard
  • All meals onboard
  • Onboard accommodation in a stateroom selected category
  • 24-hour room service
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
  • Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • One selected shore excursion/expedition activities per port of call
  • Standard WiFi
  • Onboard gratuities & port taxes

 

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* Rates are listed per person in USD


 
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