Destination Africa: Africa Cruising
Africa certainly doesn't spring to mind when discussing cruise destinations! However, the continent is no stranger to cruise ships. Northern Africa sees plenty docked in its Mediterranean ports, and even the southern part of the continent hosts cruise passengers from time to time.
The Ports: Desert Meets the Sea
At the bottom end of the continent, South Africa is the country most often visited by cruise ships. Durban is one of the country's cruise ports, a city surrounding the natural harbour of Port Natal. Ships dock at the Passenger Terminal. This is a ten minute walk to the city centre, and taxis are readily available.
Cape Town is another port of call, a beautiful and sophisticated city perched between the ocean and the distinctive Table Mountain. Once torn apart by apartheid, it is now a world-class city, and a base for exploring the surrounding wine region and safari game reserves. Ships tie up at Table Bay Harbour, a short walk to the downtown waterfront. Larger ships must dock at Duncan Dock, from where transport is required to get into Cape Town.
Luderitz in Namibia is visited by cruise ships regularly. Wonderful colonial architecture sets Luderitz apart, and it still has a strong German influence. Walking tours are popular, giving visitors a feel for the historical town. Ships generally dock near the town centre, but it is occasionally necessary to anchor offshore and tender passengers ashore.
Also on Namibia's coast is Walvis Bay, a commercial port. Bird watchers will love Walvis Bay, as it is situated near a lagoon and wetland which is a sanctuary for flamingoes, pelicans and many more feathered friends. Ships dock right in town.
Luanda in Angola occasionally sees ships from Crystal Cruises, Holland America and Silversea. It is the country's coastal capital which was until recently a centre of conflict in the region. Now, it has been reborn as a peaceful and increasingly wealthy city. Ships tie up to piers near central Luanda.
Off the coast of West Africa is the small island nation of Sao Tome and Principe. The country has only 163,000 citizens, and the language spoken is Portuguese. Cruises visit the capital city, called Sao Tome. The city is very safe and peaceful as compared to other African cities, a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the islands. Ships either dock at a pier in the centre of town or anchor offshore and transport passengers into the pier with tenders.
These are just some of the cruise ports along the coasts of East and West Africa. North African ports are generally filed under "Mediterranean" as they see much more traffic from cruise ships due to being on that busy body of water!
The Cruises: Africa Cruise Holidays
Africa's ports are often visited as part of a World Cruise- Cunard ships, for example, circumnavigate the globe stopping in many continents and countries, including Africa. Princess has long itineraries which explore Africa and Asia in-depth, and Crystal also offers Africa-specific cruises.
Africa cruising is still a somewhat specialist area, with a steady but slow trickle of ships visiting. Cruise Sale Finder can help those looking for elusive Africa cruise deals, making itineraries by all the Africa cruise lines easily searchable and available at great prices.